HANDS-ON, FIELD-BASED BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY

This study tour provides students with a theme of applied biology & biochemistry using industrial & conservation based examples.  We explore applications of micro biology & genetics within a series of field contexts. The aim is to relate the student’s understanding of facts from the classroom to their applications across the practical domains of research, production & ecological restoration. From this understanding, students can better identify where they see their own future career options. 

The overall perspective is that of biodiversity of organisms within specific ecosystems & habitats & how these organisms function. From this biodiverse & interrelated perspective, we demonstrate the value of understanding cellular functions, physiology, biochemistry & genetics as we seek to research, understand & maintain these plant & animal resources. We can also be guided in our conservation efforts & managing carbon through being informed on the natural ecological processes which we study on this tour. 

At this senior high school level, we believe that it is very important to add exposure to field situations as well as practical applications to the laboratory & classroom learning. The example of catchment management we study in Tauranga, is a global leader in environmental systems management - based on research – & provides students with the very necessary appreciation of biodiversity as an essential aspect of our future. Maungatautari Ecological Reserve provides a model where humans have effectively reproduced a complete 4000 hectare ecosystem, large enough to sustain a full biodiverse community. 

These examples are introduced to give students models of unmodified, natural areas where the relationships between organisms is intact, the range of genetic material is vast & the changing conditions are slow enough for forms of adaptations to be studied & better understood. 

This study tour allows the transfer of classroom learning into dynamic field sites that present the value of biodiversity & provide complete case studies of informed, positive human interactions with the environment.

Objectives:

our aim is to relate the student’s exsisting knowlege to practical real-world applications

  1. Students gain new insights & knowledge about scientific concepts & their applications in the fields of green science, ecology, industrial production, health & conservation - through participating in hands-on field studies, attending workshops & dialogue sessions.
  2. Students gain understanding of how concepts of biology & chemistry are integrated to make sense of real world scenarios - especially when applied in the industry.
  3. Students participate in hands-on activities applying what they have learnt by engaging in investigative fieldwork, self-directed research & develop research writing skills.
  4. Students understand the importance of science in conservation, sustainability of resources & the impact of science on a society.
  5. Students gain greater understanding of the International culture & society, as well as a deeper appreciation of what it means to be a global citizen.

The study tour is interspersed with a number of extremely relevant applications of science in environmental management & industry. Students get close up to the following:

  • A complete watershed, its ecology & environmental management processes.
  • Estuarine biomes & the marine food chain, monitoring biological indicators to maintain water quality.
  • Kiwifruit production process - science applications from planting the seed to the highest quality fruit being consumed in markets of the world.  
  • Conservation - science of genetics, adaptation, habitat protection & ecosystem restoration in a bid to save the worlds most endangered animals.
  • Geothermal environments, chemistry of geothermal systems & thermophyllic bacteria. 
  • Dairy farming - from grass to milk - science applications in provision of protein from the fields of grass to the markets of the world.

 

 
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