There’s nothing like ‘cutting up a crocodile’ to grab attention! Inspiring Australia’s team in the Territory grabbed this opportunity and turned it into an introduction to animal anatomy, a successful science media opportunity, a university open day highlight, an engagement opportunity for the local croc industry, and a series of video resources for science teachers.
“Territorians are a tough audience,” says Paul Lyons, manager of the InspiredNT program.
Fortunately for Paul, the crocodile is a local icon, a four-metre killer croc was soon to be euthanised, and crocodile expert Professor Grahame Webb just happens to be an enthusiastic educator and a board member of InspiredNT. All the ingredients you need for a great, if not gross, science demonstration for the general public.
Charles Darwin University’s Open Day during National Science Week saw this saltwater crocodile go under the knife in the name of science, with Grahame providing expert commentary.
This gave the live and livestream audiences a unique opportunity to see what’s inside these fascinating animals, understand how they use their senses, find out how their anatomy has helped them to survive, hear about their weird hearts, see the differences between a crocodile and an alligator and hear about the role of the crocodile industry in conservation.
The local media loved it!
As a respected government program, Inspiring Australia was able to bring together a large range of stakeholders—including Charles Darwin University, Crocodylus Park, the local crocodile industry, the Department of Business, Engineers Australia Northern Division, and Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory—who helped add value the event.
Inspiring Australia worked with the Department of Education to turn the recording of the event’s livestream into a series of educational videos that complement the curriculum.
The ten croc dissection videos were launched on 6 June 2016, covering a range of topics, including the importance of science, crocodile senses, anatomy for survival, and crocodile conservation.
Watch the crocodile dissection videos via the InspiredNT YouTube channel.
Image: Grahame Webb
Credit: NT News