Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre, Tasmania

Web site: http://www.woodbridge.tased.edu.au/mdc

The Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre challenges students of all ages to learn about, discover and care for the marine environment through diverse shore and sea based programs.

Woodbridge MDC - Cabiotics SamplingBuilt out over the waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, the Centre is in the ideal location to help Tasmanian students learn about their marine environment. The Channel is a varied, sheltered and safe waterway with uninhabited islands, an interesting history and fascinating marine ecology.

In 1979 a Marine Studies Centre was started in Woodbridge by a group of people, who loved the sea and wanted Tasmanian students to share in that passion. Headed by Allister Martin, a teacher at Woodbridge School, the group secured funding from the Federal Government to transform a local scallop shed into an educational facility.  It quickly became an integral part of the Tasmanian education experience and was taken over by the Tasmanian Department of Education.

The Centre houses fully equipped teaching areas, an aquarium room, marine pond, touch tanks and lots of displays as well as a large collection of cool temperate marine species. The Centre also has its own 13.5m research vessel, the Penghana, and a marine farming lease.

Interactive programs are available for students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Primary classes undertake a wide variety of activities both in the Centre and along the foreshore. Amongst other things,  primary students may examine the diversity of invertebrates found in the Channel, investigate what lives in the intertidal zone, perform experiments into the effects of marine pollution, or make marine-inspired art works

The RV Penghana provides an excellent floating classroom for secondary students to explore the Channel environment in more depth. It is fully equipped with up-to-date GPS, radar and sonar equipment as well as oceanographic and biodiversity sampling equipment, a variety of fishing technologies and an underwater video camera. In the Centre secondary students study the live specimens looking at how they fit into the Channel food web and how they are adapted to their environment.

Staff at the Centre run professional development seminars for teachers, take part in Community events and run School Holiday activities.  Outreach programs are also taken to other parts of the state.

The Centre is keen to involve students in scientific research and has close links with scientists from the University of Tasmania, CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, the Tasmanian Aquaculture & Fisheries Institute, as well as the Australian Antarctic Division.

MDCA is proudly supported by: