Unearthing forest secrets, searching for plastic pollutants, and building homes for frogs were a few of the interesting activities undertaken by students for National Science Week last week.
Council’s natural resources team shared their knowledge with school students for the week, now in its 20th year.
One-hundred students from St John Paul II College, ACT, visited Bengello Forest where they learned about special features that make the area unique.
Just north of Moruya Airport, Bengello Reserve contains the largest stand of Bangalay Sand Forest Endangered Ecological Community in south east NSW and the rare ‘dune-controlled’ system of Bengello Creek.
Council and the community work together to protect the area, through access control, weed control and ongoing Landcare activities.
Council’s Natural Resource Supervisor Heidi Thomson said that by taking a closer look at the reserve, the students discovered high biological diversity and were surprised to learn there were more than 36 threatened species of birds that use the area.
The students also got involved cleaning up marine debris from Bengello Beach, logging their finds on the Australian Marine Debris Database.
“The Australian Marine Debris Initiative is changing how we manage marine debris, allowing students and volunteers to record data about what they collect from local beaches and estuaries,” Ms Thomson said.
“From regular clean ups, some excellent data is becoming available that helps target the sources of marine debris with the aim to stop litter and waste at the point source”
Ms Thomson said Moruya Preschool students also took part in Science Week activities.
“They did some exciting experiments in their classroom and we assisted them to build a frog pond with materials donated by Bunnings Warehouse,” she said.
“They talked about what things would attract the frogs to the new pond and placed rocks, native plants and mulch around to help the frogs to seek out the pond and start their families.
“There are a lot of significant creatures and plants living in our shire. It’s fun to learn about them and easy to make a few small changes to attract them and study them in our own backyards.”
National Science Week is Australia’s annual opportunity to meet scientists, discuss the hot topics, do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society. First held in 1997, it has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year a staggering 1.3 million people participated in more than 1800 events and activities.
For more information on Council’s natural resource programs, visit Council’s website www.esc.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4474 1000.
Above:Students collecting data about marine debris on Bengello Beach for National Science Week.