Albany students get a headstart for university

December 7, 2010

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Holly Ruscoe and a sea mullet

Albany Senior High School students will be able to grab a headstart on a university degree in 2012.

Murdoch University has appointed science teachers Tracy Brothers, Duncan Brothers and Nichola Thompson as adjunct lecturers and will work with them to develop and deliver a unit in Environmental Biology to Year 11 and 12 students in the Albany region. The unit will incorporate much of the estuarine biology program pioneered by these teachers.

This unit will give students hands-on fisheries research experience that will be useful if they choose to pursue tertiary education in the future. It will also count towards their high school graduation.

Professor David Doepel, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research at Murdoch University, who announced the appointments, said: “It is so important to build confidence and create enthusiasm for research with high school students and this program is an excellent way of achieving that.”

Ms Brothers said the program builds on a relationship that Murdoch University has built with Albany SHS over the past 10 years.

“The University and the Department of Fisheries support our extension program for the best and brightest students in Years 8, 9 and 10, which gives the students hands on experience in scientific research.”

The students spend a year recording numbers of juvenile fish populations and other living creatures found in the harbour before presenting their findings to a team of scientists at Murdoch University.

“The students do an extraordinary job with their research, and the Department of Fisheries now uses their data to predict future fish stocks for major species such as King George Whiting, Salmon, Herring, Mullet and Bream,” Ms Brothers said.

“We are delighted that our final year students will be able to build on the enthusiasm generated during this program to continue their studies with Murdoch University.”

Murdoch University hopes to expand this program into the Peel region and Bunbury over the next few years.

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