Primary school students from Success RC and Tunapuna Girls RC became this country’s first participants on a journey to the depths of the oceans to explore the life of one of the rarest marine mammals on the planet—the Australian Sea Lion. Their adventure was made possible by the Atlantic Ultimate Field Trip (AUFT) programme and its latest film, “Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker”, which premiered recently at the Digicel IMAX Cinema.
“Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker” is the 19th film on the AUFT programme which uses educational documentaries filmed in immersive 3D technology to help schools cover integral parts of the curriculum including geography, astronomy, biology and environmental science.
At the premiere, the students were enthralled by the sweeping visuals which brought them deep into the Great Australian Bight and its sweeping marine vista, and into the lives of Otto, a sea lion pup and its mother. Underwater, the sea lions navigate dangers such as humpback whales and great white sharks, while on shore Marine Park Rangers work to protect them from some of the dangers of commercial fishing, marine pollution and climate change.
Australian sea lions are found only in Australian waters and are one of the most endangered seals in the world. It is estimated that less than 12,000 of the species remain in the wild.
After the film’s screening, students were treated to an interactive wildlife display by naturalist Ricardo Meade of the El Socorro Wildlife Centre who treated them to face-to-face encounters with various snakes and exotic birds. Meade echoed the message of the film by emphasizing the importance of learning about wildlife and ensuring that we all do our part to protect vulnerable species, including those in our own country.
Close to 120,000 students have experienced the Atlantic Ultimate Field Trip since its establishment by LNG producer Atlantic in 2011. The programme transforms a fun outing to the movies for students into an alternative educational tool used by teachers to help increase children’s engagement with content in the annual school curriculum. The programme targets students through visually appealing and inspiring films which use IMAX 3D technology to highlight diverse topics from marine life and dinosaurs to orphan animal rehabilitation and the wonders of outer space.