Ocean Park was the venue for an extraordinary science lesson which involved meeting dolphins and studying sharks. The marine world was explained to 19 students from Po Leung Kuk 1983 Board of Directors' College. They were some of the first lucky students to join the park's junior secondary school educational programme, which began this year. The park's education section organises day-long visits for up to 180 students at a time. They visit the Ocean Theatre, shark aquarium, Atoll Reef, water quality laboratory, Bird Paradise, butterfly house, nursery and Goldfish Pagoda. Youngsters also get to see backstage, where most visitors do not go. Teacher Tam Fung-king said: 'I hope the students can really learn a lot from the trip. 'It is a special experience to come so close to marine animals.' They were given a talk by trainers at the park's Dolphin University and learned about the life cycle of park sharks, from the nursery to adulthood. Ms Tam said students enjoyed learning away from the classroom. Jazz Chu Ngan-ling and Carmen Ng Ka-man, of Form Three, agreed. Ngan-ling, 14, said: 'We see a lot of things besides the rollercoaster and other amusements. We try things we don't normally do at Ocean Park.' She said a highlight was seeing a stingray in one of the aquariums. 'I was also very happy when I touched a dolphin and I enjoyed learning things from a source other than textbooks,' Ngan-ling said. Ka-man, also 14, said: 'I could never have imagined getting so close to a lovely dolphin.' Another interesting highlight for Ka- man was seeing sharks' eggs. Jane Li Suk-chun, the park's education manager, said the new programme followed the success of tours for primary schoolchildren. More than 120,000 primary students had toured Ocean Park, she said. 'The junior secondary school educational programme is designed in line with the syllabus of the integrated science subjects from Form One to Form Three,' said Ms Li. 'It provides outdoor and hands-on learning opportunities.' Aims of the programmes included getting students interested in conservation, she said. So far, 10 schools had expressed interest in visiting Ocean Park for the new tour. The cost of tours is $90 per student. For more information, call 2873-8622 or fax 2518-8665.