16 October 2017

SOUTH AFRICA 2014

stingray elephants

The Science Department is planning to lead a two-week Expedition from Scotch College to South Africa from 6 December - 19 December 2014 for students who will be 15+ at the time of departure. Below are some preliminary details.

This will be our First Expedition with Operation Wallacea (OpWall), an organisation specialising in biological research programs that operate in some of the most diverse environments in the world.

OpWall has the express aim of aiding the development of effective long-term conservation strategies that benefit both wildlife and local communities. The research is run by large and experienced teams of university academics from a wide range of academic disciplines supported by trained medical staff and qualified and experienced expedition leaders. OpWall is a global institution with a unique ethos, whose program will stretch the potential of students, by expanding horizons through direct and relevant experience. Not so much a holiday as a transformation!

Planning has to begin early, so at this stage the costs and itinerary can only be provisional. The entire cost should fall around $4,300 - $5,000 and will include flights, transport, food, accommodation, insurance, training, the services of Operation Wallacea support staff, medical staff and scientists. We are well aware that cost is often the one factor that inhibits students' and parents' involvement, but we believe that no one should feel excluded on financial grounds. Money-management, with the aim of achieving a long term once in a lifetime goal such as this, is a very valuable life skill in itself. There are several things that can be done and fundraising will form a key focus for the team once it has been formed.

We would like you to make the right choice for your son and appreciate that you will need some time to consider your options before making a firm decision. For more information visit the Operation Wallacea website: www.opwall.com

Places on this Expedition will be limited to around 30 students. Participants may come from all subject areas and are not limited to Biology, Geography or Science students, however, there are clear curriculum links in these areas and students of Biology can use their research in their Year 12 Extended Experimental Investigation or in their IB Diploma. The data gathered can be particularly useful in putting together an IA (internal practical investigation) for students taking the IB Diploma.

We are hosting an evening information session with an academic travelling from the UK head office on Monday, 26 August at 6.00pm. This is a key opportunity for you to hear about the expedition to South Africa and to ask questions.

A clear commitment will be required by around 23 September (exact dates will be confirmed at the information evening), where a non-refundable deposit of $185 can be paid either directly to OpWall, or through the school.

The things students will need most are commitment and a sense of adventure! If you have any questions in advance of the information evening, please feel free to contact me by email or phone: TPIwanowski@scotch.wa.edu.au or 9383 6800. I would also be very grateful if any families who are interested in attending the evening could contact me in the next few weeks, so that I can get an idea of numbers attending.

Tom Iwanowski

Science Teacher