Sharklab joins in the fun of Family Science Week at Esplora
Sharklab had a wonderful time at Esplora Science Centre last week – it was fantastic to see so many of you come and see us! We met lots of families, diving groups, and a big group of scouts, beavers and cubs who were camping locally.
We’ve had great feedback from Esplora and from you directly, and we’re delighted to hear that many people said that their favourite thing of the day was SHARKS!
It is so encouraging to see the support and interest you all give us, especially from children who think sharks are both cool and need protection – a great perpective. If you missed out you can come and visit us at one of our regular monthly Awareness Days at the Malta National Aquarium – you can check out dates here.
Sharklab & Birdlife enjoy a Brownie Discovery Day: Life beyond Land
On 4th of May Sharklab were delighted to join Birdlife in welcoming approximately 200 Girl Guides to Għadira Nature Reserve and Għadira Bay. The event was called “Brownie Discovery: Life beyond land”, and allowed Brownies aged 7 to 10 from all across Malta and Gozo to take part in a number of fun nature activities.
Sharklab-Malta’s activities included Beach Plant Detectives which was a treasure hunt for plants to learn about beach plant life in Malta, Shark Eggcase Study to learn about different ways sharks breed and Things you Didn’t Know about Sharks which had the children look at the different body parts of the sharks you find in the Mediterranean Sea.
The activities by BirdLife Malta included an Unnatural Trail for the participants to learn about the effects of leaving rubbish in nature, Meet a Tree to learn about trees which can be found in Malta, and Bird Detectives which consisted of birdwatching and bird ringing.
Commenting on the event, BirdLife Malta Education Manager Sarah Brady stated: “Connection with nature is very important to us and we are happy to have the children learn whilst having fun at our nature reserves. We look forward to working with the Malta Girl Guides again in the near future”.
Pam Mason, Education Officer of Sharklab-Malta stated: “Although living on islands, many people have never thought about the wildlife in the sea surrounding them, and these sessions with Brownies are designed to increase their awareness, whilst having fun.”
Gaby Meli, Programme Commissioner of the Malta Girl Guides, added: “Outdoor and adventurous activities are a core part of the Malta Girl Guides’ programme. We feel that the best way in which children learn to appreciate nature, biodiversity and its importance to the planet early on, is by giving them the opportunity to experience it hands on! We believe immensely in a learning-by-doing approach and that is why such partnerships enable us to give our members fun-filled experiences that will make them pass the newly discovered experiences to their friends and family. This creates a ripple effect that in the long run will not only benefit our members but the whole community. Furthermore, we value and encourage the benefit that outdoor activities leave on the girls’ physical and mental well-being.”
Thanks for an incredible day at Gozo's 'Science in the Citadel'
On Saturday 27th April we had a busy, rewarding day sharing our love of sharks, rays and skates with the hundreds of visitors who came to this impressive annual event!
There was so much enthusiasm from children and adults alike, and a very encouraging level of awareness about conservation.
Thanks to everyone who came to visit us, and to the organisers for such a great event!
Sharklab Malta and the Science Safari
Over 600 Year 5 students are participating in the Science Safari kids initiative In late March and early April. This was organised by Science Centre Pembroke – Malta at the Malta National Aquarium.
The students toured the aquarium tanks and worked out Maths and Science problem solving tasks displayed on their tablets. Personnel from Avantis used virtual reality headsets to engage students in a simulated seabed environment experience. Students also observed shark skulls and discussed efforts for shark conservation, during a workshop organised by Sharklab-Malta.
This initiative forms part of the STEM popularisation approach that the Directorate for Learning & Assessment Programmes embarked on, to promote STEM subjects and careers among young learners.
Sharklab and Birdlife share expertise
This week Sharklab Malta and Birdlife volunteers exchanged expertise. We taught them some shark dissection and told them what we do. The Birdlife volunteers then took us outside because they had spotted two rarely sighted birds – gannets!
Here are our three birdlife friends holding the results of their days’ work – two unborn foetuses in jam jars – from the pregnant Long Nosed Spurdog that we dissected. (Squallus blenvillae)
It has been more than 1.5 years since we first presented our work scientifically as poster presentation at the 2016 European Elasmobranch Association Conference in Bristol. Since then we continuously worked on the manuscript till we found the right journal (and a good set of
ALL Sharklab members and everyone interested in Sharklab are welcome and invited to join us for the annual general meeting. Location to be announced soon. Please keep checking this page. We will also sent out an email to all registered members once location has been