Port Lincoln's Tacoma look to be educational tool

The Tacoma Preservation Society will look to explore further educational opportunities with schools across Lower Eyre Peninsula using the historic tuna fishing vessel MSV Tacoma.

Last Thursday the society welcomed year 6 and 7 students from Poonindie Community Learning Centre, who learned about the vessel, tuna fishing and the Colin Thiele novel and subsequent movie 'Blue Fin'.

Students even got to experience a taste of what it would have been like to catch a tuna from the racks.

Society president Ross Haldane said there was a good opportunity to showcase the boat and the story of Blue Fin, which was originally published in 1969 and was turned into a movie in 1978.

He said the society would look to work with schools across the region in the new school year as the Tacoma had plenty to offer educationally.

"It's a great opportunity to be a part of the educational history curriculum," he said.

"Kirton Point (Primary School) has Tacoma on its emblem and we will work together with them."

As part of their visit to Tacoma the students also learned about the local tuna fishing industry thanks to a presentation from Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA) research and liaison officer Claire Webber.

She said the association wanted kids thinking from an early age about a career in the seafood industry.

"At this age they're starting to think about their future and what they might like to do for a career," she said.

"We'd love our local kids to stay in Port Lincoln and have a successful career in the seafood industry."

Ms Webber said it was fantastic to have a vessel that played an educational role in the community.

Mr Haldane said the society had been working with ASBTIA for a number of years and it was good to see the industry supporting the telling of the Tacoma story.

"It's an inter-generational story and in a way it's a big piece of the jigsaw that makes up Port Lincoln," he said.

However it was not all about history with the Tacoma as Mr Haldane said there were other educational benefits the vessel could provide to schools.

He said a boat like Tacoma could also be a tool for mathematical courses as well as geography and biology.

However the society would work with how to deliver educational opportunities and see what worked for schools.

"In curriculum terms it's like a big lolly shop of ideas for teachers to inspire students," he said.

"It's not just a simple thing of pressing buttons, tour guides need to improve skills, find out what works and what doesn't work."