Up to nine year 11 and 12 students have the chance to get a free taste of life as an Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) marine biologist on Maria Island on Tasmania’s East Coast thanks to a range of scholarships that are now open for applications.
As part of the University College Program, IMAS is offering four Tasmanian and five interstate students free enrolment to its six-day course XAS101 – A Practical Introduction to Temperate Marine Biology during the April school holidays, from Wednesday, 19 April, until Monday, 24 April 2017.
The course includes five days on Maria Island and one day in the classroom, which usually costs $645, but will be free for some lucky students courtesy of IMAS.
Students from outside Tasmania will be flown to Hobart to see the unique environment that Tasmanian students have access to all-year-round.
Students who wish to apply will need to demonstrate a keen interest in the marine environment, or socio-economic or geographic disadvantage.
The innovative teaching program was recognised in 2016, winning a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Enhancement of the Student Experience, which reflects the experiential learning style of the course.
Course coordinator Dr Scott Ling said the University College Program allows Year 11 and 12 students to experience university level units alongside their pre-tertiary studies.
“We view this program as a key opportunity for students to see science in action, spending a working week in the field where they can develop their skills of observation and experience first-hand what being a marine biologist is like,” Dr Ling said.
“It’s fantastic to see students being able to get out of the classroom or laboratory, make observations, put together a scientific argument, and present it to the class and teaching staff.
“Students in previous years have said they enjoyed applying marine biology theory, techniques and sampling methods during the practical field investigations, both above and below the waves.
“A real passion was sparked for many of our previous students in this course, who have ended up continuing to study marine biology at the University of Tasmania.”
XAS101 is offered with a HECS-waiver, meaning students will not attract any extra tuition fees, and successful completion can be used to contribute one unit (12.5%) to a University of Tasmania marine science degree.
Scholarship applications close at midnight on Tuesday, 7 March 2017. Fee-paying places on the course are also available on a competitive basis.