The interactive app is an initiative of Marine Discovery Centre and The Science Collective, and part of this year’s National Science Week theme ‘Deep Blue Innovations for the future of our Oceans’.
It uses mobile technology and hands-on fun activities to help families learn about their local coastlines and teaches them how to look after and protect marine environments. It is a fun and interactive way for children to learn about their marine environment and contribute positively to its future health.
South Australian based families who complete all of the activities within a month will go into a draw to win some fantastic prizes including a short stay at Big 4 West Beach Parks.
Developed to replace a planned marine festival at Henley Beach, which was cancelled due to Covid-19, the app is full of free activities that encourage families to come together and really discover their own backyards.
The Marine Discovery Centre’s, Partnerships and Marketing Manager, Carmen Bishop says “The development of this app is consistent with the Marine Discovery Centre’s vision to provide the most inspirational learning experiences whilst empowering people to actively protect South Australia’s iconic and coastal marine environments.”
In addition to encouraging users to be proactive in improving marine health, the project also teaches children about local Aboriginal culture and promotes the work that environmental groups are currently undertaking, identifying how families can get involved.
“Families will love working on the activities together. There’s beachcombing, recycled art, kite making and coastal walks, just to name a few,” said The Science Collective director, Alison Fenton.
“The advice we hear from marine and coastal experts is that people need to really learn about their local coastlines. The more families who download the Deep Blue Treasure Hunt, the more people will be understand the risks to marine environments,” Ms Fenton said.
“While the app has enough activities to keep the kids occupied for hours, we hope that it will really get young people thinking about what day to day things need to be done to protect coastal areas.”
For example, the app helps identify which types of sunblock ingredients are damaging to our precious reefs.
“We hope that it will teach kids to really love their oceans,” Ms Fenton said.
The app has received strong support from local Henley Beach traders and marine-based businesses, who recognise that it is a valuable tool to help people not only protect their environments, but also to support local businesses.
A number of prizes have been donated to support would-be marine biologists on their quest for the treasure chest.
The activities in the app can be done along almost any Australian coastline or even around the world, and there is a special marine trail for people who live in the Henley Beach and surrounding areas.
While the competition and marine trail will be open for one month, the app will be live for 3 years, which means there is plenty of time for marine-based learning. The Marine Discovery Centre will incorporate the app into their educational modules which will be accessible to all schools.
Families will need to sign up for the treasure hunt and parental permission will be required to upload photos and videos of coastal discoveries.
The official launch of the Deep Blue Treasure hunt will take place at the Marine Discovery Centre on 8 August, as part of their ‘A Story of the MotherFish’ Art Exhibition and the SALA By the Sea Art Walk. Families can drop in between 10am and 4pm to view the artwork made from rubbish collected along the beach and pick up a treasure sack to get their hunt started and to also participate in the Visit Henley Beach Marine Trail.
The app can be downloaded from at www.deepbluetreasurehunt.com.au.
With thanks to the following sponsors Big 4 West Beach Parks, Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Mega Adventure, Visit Henley Beach, Adventure Kayaking, City of Charles Sturt, Zoos SA, Naomi Schwartz Jewellery Design Gallery, Foodland Henley Beach, TerryWhite Chemmart Henley Square, Pro Med Health, South Henley Beach Newsagency, Kids Like That and Bunnings.
For more information please contact:
Partnerships and Marketing Manager - Marine Discovery Centre
M. 0422 885 409