Computing supporting environmental education

Posted on June 21, 2007

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So much of what we see about computing and sustainability is about the bad, or at least people trying to be less bad. Somq2.gif here’s a good news story, computing supporting environmental education. It describes a successful partnership between students of Otago Polytechic’s Bachelor of Information Technology and the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre.

The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC) offers educational programmes to schools. The NZMSC programmes give students the opportunity to learn about Southern New Zealand marine species and the ecosystems in which they are found.

The NZMSC wanted a piece of technology that turned existing paper-based resources into an interactive e-learning CD for students to use. The end result, Marine Quest, combines fun activities with science and technology via six animated games. NZMSC received great feedback about Marine Quest and has distributed the CD to schools throughout the region.

The Marine-Quest CD was designed to benefit the NZMSC by providing school teachers with a learning aid to help reinforce children’s learning. It offers children and teachers the opportunity to interact with modern technology and educational resources.

Project objectives included:

  • Developing a curriculum-relevant interactive CD
  • Researching and assessing existing learning materials
  • Researching and assessing appropriate children’s software
  • Identifying the learning styles of primary school children
  • Enhancing the aquarium learning experience via software usage
  • Giving primary school children the opportunity to interact with modern technology
  • Providing a resource for school teachers
  • Enhancing the image of the NZMSC as a leader in public marine educationimage002.gif


To ensure the games were robust and user friendly, they were thoroughly tested with children. The children were very enthusiastic about the games. The games package has been handed over to the client as a complete package for deployment.

“It is a fantastic addition to our marine education programme… I never anticipated we would end up with such a professional product.” Sally Carlson, Programme Director, NZMSCmq1.gif

More about this project: Poster, Overview, Evidence Portfolio.

More about Bachelor of Information Technology projects.

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