Great science in the Great Southern

The Healthy Estuaries WA team have been connecting with Great Southern high school students to share the exciting science that happens in and around their local estuaries.

More than 400 high school students attended Scitech’s STEM Regional Festival in last month where the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation revealed some of the science that goes into protecting our waterways.

The event was held in Albany with 12 other exhibitors including Water Corporation, Edith Cowan University, WA Data Science Innovation Hub and the WA Museum.

With the support of Oyster Harbour Catchment Group, we talked to students about how water moves through the landscape and how we monitor the health of ecosystems. We discussed some examples of what community members can do to help protect our waterways, such as reducing fertiliser use and planting native plants in gardens.

Healthy Estuaries WA communications officer and Albany local, Cassie Paxman, said it was an exciting two days for both staff and students.

“It was fantastic to see young people engaged in learning about how we can all protect our waterways,” Cassie said. “Denmark Agricultural College students, in particular, were really keen to hear how their future fertiliser decisions can affect the environment.”

In addition to Healthy Estuaries WA, the department showcased science about groundwater, plastic pollution and river health.

“We were one of the few stalls that was staffed by people who live and work in Albany. It gave us a chance to give a local perspective and show the students that they don’t need to move to Perth to be able to pursue interesting and meaningful careers in science.”