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Warwick Academy gets jump on marine science

Historic day: Andy MacFarlane, head of pricing and analytics at XL, left; head boy Noah da Silva; Mackenzie James, Warwick Academy marketing and development leader; Colin Smith, chairman of the board of governors; and head girl McKenzie Kohl Tuckett at the unveiling (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Warwick Academy has unveiled its new marine science facility, which will provide research and study opportunities for generations to come. The project has been in the works since 2017 and was the idea of Jess Young, head of sciences at Warwick Academy, and Rosalind Wingate, the school’s lab technician. The facility will not only benefit students, but the community at large as part of Warwick Academy’s strategic theme of being “a private school with a public purpose”.Dave Horan, the principal, said during the unveiling of the Harbour Road facility yesterday evening:“This plan will not just provide our students with the facilities for marine research, but also for studying coastal flora and fauna, and geology. “In addition, we would like to establish a student involved native reforestation project. “A few ideas for marine science include long-term monitoring of sedimentation temperature and storm surge in Hamilton Harbour, coral receding and aquaculture, and remote-operated vehicle testing.”Colin Smith, chairman of the board of governors, said it was the first and only waterfront marine science facility on a school campus in Bermuda. He thanked the many donors who raised more than $400,000 towards the project including title sponsor Axa XL (XL Foundation).Mr Smith added: “Our role today is to acknowledge the role of people and organisations who have contributed to our vision of enhancing our science curriculum by creating an interactive environment for students to appreciate the delicate marine ecosystem that exists all around us.”Andy Fields, former deputy principal, is responsible for development of the project including ongoing funding. Funding is still required for equipment at the facility including tanks, pumps, collection tools, remote-operated vehicles, microscopes with climate control storage and kayak racks. He said that the facility would enhance the school curriculum including lessons on corals, climate change, coastal marine and cave ecosystems, and exploring the benthic community.Mr Fields said: “The marine science facility has the potential to be a focal point of citizen science with the establishing of a storm surge-monitoring system to aid our understanding of the vulnerability of our harbour coastline as we experience the increasing frequency and intensity of storm activity due to climate change as we have experienced in the last two weeks.”Head boy Noah da Silva added: “I am a huge advocate of our eco club and the sciences in general. I am interested in the science around Bermuda and around the oceans so this is just super exciting.”• Anyone interested in donating to the project can e-mail afields@warwick.bm