1 April 2021 - 11:39am

In March 2021 some students from our Children’s House went on an adventure to the Queensland Museum to experience and learn about the hatching of loggerhead turtles. The experience is presented as part of the World Science Festival.

The experience is very personal with only small booked groups allowed into the exhibit at one time. Some Microplastics and Environmental Health research students from The University of Queensland spent time talking to the children about pollution and switching out items that negatively impact the environment and wildlife.

The children experienced firsthand the process of loggerhead turtles emerging from their shells (which from start to finish actually takes 24 hours!), resting while they absorbed their egg sack and finally the hatchlings swimming freely in their aquarium. They also took part in a simulation activity to learn about the effect environmental temperature has on determining the sex of the hatchlings. If the eggs are in a cooler environment most of the hatchlings will be male, if the environment is warmer the hatchlings will be female, if the temperature fluctuates the hatchlings will be a mix of genders.

Upon returning to their peers in the classroom the children were able to share their experiences from the museum. The educators planned further experiences to extend the children’s knowledge and interest.  Some children further studied the lifecycle of a turtle and other creatures, while others wanted to know more about pollution and the impacts on our sea life.

This was such a wonderful, hands on, concrete learning experience for this group of children, whilst also providing them with levels of responsibility, freedom and limits and the opportunity to be able to engage with others in the broader community.

Candace Vinson

Centre Director

Building Futures Montessori, Wavell Heights