Island Ranger spreads aquaculture secrets


From left: Kayla Weckert, Chad Mumme and Taleeha Ramsay check out the Island Ranger app

From left: Kayla Weckert, Chad Mumme and Taleeha Ramsay check out the Island Ranger app

Taleeha Ramsay and Kayla Weckert are among the first students to trial an aquaculture game as part of their VET course at Charles Darwin University.

The students are transported from their classroom to a virtual island on their laptop with the Innovative Media Production Studio (IMPS) production, Island Ranger.

“We’re really excited to learn more about aquaculture from our phones or laptops,” Taleeha said. “We are studying for a Certificate II in Aquaculture, and this is really going to help us learn at our own pace. Also, it’s more fun than a text book!”

Maritime and Seafood Team Leader Chad Mumme said students could safely and easily explore and experiment in this computer-generated world.

“The game is still in its early stages, but it draws attention to key monitoring equipment and thresholds for water conditions of particular animals,” he said.

“It’s interactive and has the player running an aquaculture farm on an island; with each level they learn more about what needs to be done.”

Mr Mumme said about 18 students – from many different schools across the Top End – have been testing the game.

“It was originally for students at South Goulburn Island who had little opportunity to apply their knowledge in the aquaculture world,” he said. “The first level focuses on the rangers’ workshop where they store their equipment and monitor oysters, giant clams and sand fish.

“It’s fantastic as it really reflects what we do. It takes the students out of the classroom and into a simulated aquaculture farm. It’s more practical, reducing time and the expense of hands-on activities in the field.”

IMPS Manager Alison Lockley said the game was originally designed for an iPad, but her team redeveloped it as a web app for wider use.

“The next two levels are being developed,” she said. “The player will measure and monitor the health of various animals in the second level, and problem-solving scenarios will take place in the third.”

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