Published on: 27 February 2014

Prior to the Year 5 Outdoor Education experiences, which began departing this week for Kooringal, boys embarked on a hands-on learning activity along Canning River. Each class visited the Canning River Eco Education Centre (CREEC) on the banks of the Kent Street Weir last week.

CREEC, which opened in 2008, aims to increase awareness and understanding of the Canning River and the Canning River Regional Park through environmental education programs and activities. The boys were introduced to the structure of water catchments using a scale model, and discussed how industry, water pollution and future use affected water resources and the bioindicators of the river system. Using nets, the boys were able to scoop up a cross-section sample near the banks, which they later examined to look for macro-invertebrates found in the river.

Year 5 teacher Andrew Lane said this year’s visit had been the best year for spotting caddisfly larvae. “These macro-invertebrates are very vulnerable to pollutants in the water and their high numbers means that the river is in good health this year,” he said.

Mr Lane said the boys enjoyed the centre’s boy-friendly activities. “Every year we return to CREEC, the programs get better and better, with the right balance of instruction and practical experiences for the boys. All the while, the instructors’ vernacular is rich with exciting scientific terminology. The boys also love the touch tables in the centre, where they see all sorts of Australian native species that inhabit the area around the Canning River.”

He said the excursion, which increased the boys’ awareness of how peoples’ actions affected the river system, tied in nicely with the boys’ studies on catchment and water cycles in the classroom. “The boys will also be able to relate the exercise to their outdoor education experience at Kooringal.”