The Ocean Conservation Trust is partnering with Encounter Edu and the CARMABI coral research station in the southern Caribbean to host the AXA Coral Live Lessons at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth from 9th to 19th November 2020.

The free online lessons will bring learning to life by connecting students and teachers with fresh ways to build ocean literacy, discuss coral science and interact with coral scientists.  There will be 24 digital Live lessons designed for students aged from 7 to 18 and lessons will take place with the exciting backdrop of the National Marine Aquarium exhibits with some of the largest aquarium viewing platforms in the UK.

Each lesson will feature an array of presenters and speakers from around the globe including presenter Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop from Encounter Edu and Dr Kristen Marhaver from the Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity Foundation in Curaçao. Ocean Conservation Trust’s Schools Officer, Joe Farrow, and Lead Biologist, Pierre Ternat, will join live lessons to showcase sharks and coral at the NMA and highlight the importance of sharks within a balanced coral ecosystem and discuss interesting intricacies within coral food webs.

Photos by CARMABI of reef in Curaçao

The live lessons hope to inspire STEM careers and develop environmental stewardship. They are also a great way to deliver education for the UN Sustainable Development Goals particularly SDG 13 on climate change and SDG 14 on the ocean. There will be lessons in English, French and German, all organized by age group and topic, with lessons for younger students investigating core biology topics through exploring coral science. Older students will be able to deepen their knowledge of ecosystems and human impacts from a range of experts.

Tune in from 2pm on Monday 9th November by following this link

CARMABI Diver interacting with a grouper in Caribbean

Roger Maslin, CEO of Ocean Conservation Trust, said: “The Ocean Conservation Trust is proud to partner and contribute in this coral education opportunity. We truly understand the importance of protecting vital ocean habitats and believe education is the perfect tool for encouraging pro-Ocean behaviour in young people.”

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop, Executive Director of Encounter Edu, added: “The coral reef is the most biodiverse of any ecosystem on the planet and directly support over 500 million people across the world. They are also among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, with the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites ceasing to exist by the end of the century if carbon emissions are not reduced.”

The live lessons have been a success in previous years with Mrs. C Matthew from Northlands Primary in Bermuda adding that: “I cannot say enough about how much our students and teachers appreciated the AXA XL Live Coral Reef presentations. The students are still asking questions and we are so thrilled with their thought processes!”

Emily Carpenter from Bridgerule Primary, UK was also happy with the lessons saying: “This was an absolutely fantastic experience for the children. They developed a better understanding of the coral reef and they were over the moon when they heard their shout out and questions answered. Thank you.”

Ocean Conservation Trust Virtual Tours at the National Marine Aquarium

As well as the amazing Coral Live Lessons, The Ocean Conservation Trust also offers the opportunity of pre-booked virtual tours. The tours give pupils all over the UK the chance to learn more about the Ocean. The UN Decade of the Ocean begins in 2021 and the virtual tours and lesson plans are aimed to get the UK off to flying start. Alongside the tour, activities and lesson plans are offered as a package bundle giving users up to 2- or 3-days’ worth of activities and homework.

The virtual tours are bespoke, so one class will be taken on an hour and a half virtual tour around the aquarium with the opportunity to interact and ask questions as if they were really in the aquarium. Learn more about our School Virtual Tour here.