30 October 2013 – Get ready for a fun and interactive way to explore ecological relationships in a wetland ecosystem!
On this day, representatives of the WA Gould League, SPICE (the University of Western Australia), Duncraig Primary School, and the Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Lyn Beazley, gathered at Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre for the launch of a new ‘Food Web’ mobile app.
Above: Duncraig Primary School students trying out the Food Web app with Chief Scientist at the launch on 30 October 2013
Front row (L to R): Jarred Krammer; Shannon Oo (Yr. 7 Students from Duncraig Primary School)
Back row (L to R): Roger Harris (Centre Manager, Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre) Professor Lyn Beazley (Chief Scientist, WA) Nadine Krauskopf (Duncraig PS), Professor Kevin Kenneally (President WA Gould League Inc.)
The app, developed by SPICE (UWA) in partnership with the WA Gould League, is targeted at Year 7s and helps students explore questions about feeding relationships – questions such as:
Who eats who?
What happens if this plant or animal disappears?
What would happen if cane toads arrived in Herdsman Lake?
With its commitment to nurture a passion for nature, the WA Gould League runs award-winning education programs at Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre. The iPad/iPhone app is an initiative to extend the Centre’s excursion experience from a field-based, hands-on practical learning experience back into school classrooms.
The app is timely Australian Curriculum based resource that will assist year 7 students in understanding feeding relationships and the affect human activity can have on these interactions.
It also comes at a time where using innovative new learning technologies is increasingly important in improving classroom practice and augmenting students’ learning.
Duncraig Primary School Year 7 students, Jarred Krammer and Shannon Oo, were present at the launch together with their school principal Gary Stenhouse. Principal Stenhouse was impressed with the way the students were immediately engaged with the app and both Jarred and Shannon had fun trying out the interactive app.
Centre Manager of Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, Roger Harris, said, “Students now have at their fingertips a powerful real-world tool and are using the same type of modelling skills and problem solving skills that real scientists use in dealing with sustainability of natural ecosystems.”
It is hoped that the launch and development of such educational apps will encourage students and teachers to explore new ways to connect classroom learning with real-world applications.
The Food Web app is now available FREE from the Apple app store. Download it here!