Education

Using the ecologically unique Solitary Islands as a backdrop, the National Marine Science Centre offers innovative field and laboratory based activities in the area of marine science for Primary and Secondary students. Working alongside enthusiastic scientists, students develop their scientific skills through hands-on interactive curriculum-based activities in the areas of Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Chemistry, Marine studies, and Marine and Aquaculture technology.

The NMSC Sea Education Activities (SEA) school’s program is developed by our education staff to assist teachers in meeting the New South Wales Board of Studies Key Learning Area outcomes.

See below for individual activity descriptions with specific learning outcomes.

School Activities

Aquaculture

This activity introduces students to the fastest growing primary industry in the nation. Students will investigate the nature and scope of aquaculture and the requirements necessary for the successful culture of various organisms through theoretical and practical investigation.

>>> Download Aquaculture Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Aquaculture Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Aquaculture Activity

Biological Design

Lab Study: Biological Research and Sampling Design
The scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a reproducible way, and to use these reproductions to make useful predictions. It is done through observation of natural phenomena, and/or through experimentation that tries to simulate natural events under controlled conditions. It provides an objective process to find solutions to problems in a number of scientific and technological fields. In this activity students examine the process of scientific methodology and sampling design through theoretical and practical examples.

>>> Download Biological Design Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Biological Design Activity

Coastal Dynamics and Management

Field Study: Coastal Dynamics and Management
Waves, wind and currents shape our beaches every day and is one of the most rapidly changing physical environments on Earth. Many people utilize the coast for a wide array of purposes which has an effect on this environment. In this activity students will investigate the strong links between society and coastal change and gain a better understanding of this environment and what causes it to change its state. Students will gain this understanding through practical and theoretical experience.

>>> Download Coastal Dynamics and Management Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Coastal Dynamics and Management Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Coastal Dynamics Activity

Embryonic Development

Lab Study: Embryonic Development of a Common Sea Urchin Case study: Tripneustes gratilla
In this activity students examine the process of fertilisation and embryonic development within a common sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla.. Students compare and contrast physical characteristics of male and female reproductive cells of the sea urchin as well as examine the processes involved with their production. Students will differentiate between, and record a number of developmental stages following fertilisation.

>>> Download Embryology Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Embryology Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Embryonic Activity

Fish Biology

Lab Study: Fish Biology
This activity introduces students to the morphology and physiology of fish. Students will gain an understanding of general fish characteristics and anatomy as well an insight into various fish groups (class) through theoretical and practical first hand investigation. The activity aims to make students aware of the complexity of marine organisms and their adaptations.

>>> Download Fish Biology Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Fish Biology Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Fish Biology Activity

Human Impact on River Ecosystems

Field Study: Investigation of Human Impact on a River Ecosystem
Clean fresh water is one of our most valuable resources. It is essential for sustaining aquatic environments and human health. The effect of human activities on the waterways is of paramount importance. In this activity, students will evaluate the health of a river by monitoring various water quality parameters at a number of locations along a river catchment. Students will then be able to analysis and discuss the results to ascertain the health of the river.

>>> Download Human Impact on River Ecosystem Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Human Impact on River Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan River Study

Mangrove Ecosystems

Field Study: Mangrove Ecosystems
In this activity students explore the ecology of mangrove ecosystems and gain an appreciation for the diversity of life which they possess. Students will examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that these life forms possess. Students will look at the whole ecosystem level and identify both positive and negative links between the study sites and adjacent ecosystems.

>>> Download Mangroves Ecosystems Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Mangrove Ecosystems Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Mangroves Ecosystems Activity

Marine Taxonomy

Lab Study: Marine Taxonomy
In this activity students work collaboratively to observe and classify a range of marine organisms and develop simple classification keys by recording physical characteristics of a variety of marine species through illustrated diagrams and live specimens. Students learn to make links between organism structure and function and lifestyle characteristics.

>>> Download Marine Taxonomy Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Marine Taxonomy Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Taxonomy Activity

Ocean Acidification


Field Study: Ocean Acidification
In this activity, students will review the carbon cycle, test how an increase in dissolved CO2 can affect the pH of seawater and hypothesize on how this could affect calcium carbonate-based organisms.

>>> Download Ocean Acidification Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Ocean Acidification Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Ocean Acidification Activity

Recreational Fishing

Lab Study: Sustainable Recreational FishingPeople have enjoyed catching fish for thousands of years. It is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Australia today. There are hundreds of ways people can capture fish and if done properly fishing is an enjoyable and sustainable activity. Successful fishing combines understanding and knowledge of fish behaviour and fishing methods with an awareness of sustainable fishing practices. In this activity, students learn the various ways in which fish are captured and issues being addressed by the recreational fishery.

>>> Download Sustainable Recreational Fishing Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Sustainable Recreational Fishing Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Recreational Fishing Activity

Rocky Shore

Field Study: Rocky Shores Ecosystems
Within this activity students explore the ecology of coastal rocky shore ecosystems and gain an appreciation for the diversity of life on rocky shores. They examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that these life forms posses. Students will identify organisms which inhabit rocky shorelines and categorise them into a number of general ecosystems zones. Students will look at the whole ecosystem level and identify both positive and negative links between the study sites and adjacent ecosystems.

>>> Download Rocky Shore Ecosystems Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Rocky Shores Ecosystem Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Rocky Shores

Sandy Shore

Field Study: Sandy Shores Ecosystems
Within this activity students explore the ecology of coastal sandy shore ecosystems and gain an appreciation for the diversity of life they contain. Students examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that organisms inhabiting coastal sandy ecosystems posses. Students will identify organisms which inhabit sandy shorelines and examine a number of physical environmental factors which influence their distribution and abundance. Students will look at the whole ecosystem level and identify both positive and negative links between the study sites and adjacent ecosystems.

>>> Download Sandy Shores Ecosystems Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Sandy Shores Ecosystems Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Sandy Shores

Sea Birds

Field Study: Sea Birds of our Coast
Within this activity students examine the ecology of coastal sea and shore birds within their natural habitats and gain an appreciation for the diverse range of species present. Students examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that sea and shore birds possess that enable them to live successfully around water. Students will observe, identify and record a variety of local bird species. Students will look at the whole ecosystem level and identify both positive and negative links between the study sites and adjacent ecosystems.

>>> Download Sea Bird of our Coast Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Sea Bird of our Coast Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Sea Birds

Subtropical Reef

Lab Study: Subtropical Reef Analysis using CPCe software
In this activity students examine the benthic composition of two subtropical rocky reefs. Students gain an appreciation for the diversity of benthic life forms in these communities and observe the effect of depth on these reefs. Students will employ the same scientific methods and equipment used by underwater researchers, to compare their results gained from the computer analysis program and discuss the factors which help to shape the benthos at different depths.

>>> Download Subtropical Reef Monitoring Student Activity Workbook

>>> Download Subtropical Reef Monitoring Activity Outline

>>> Download Excursion Risk Management Plan Subtropical Reef Monitoring Activity

Undersea Explorer

Field Study: Undersea Explorer
This activity allows students to explorer the undersea world at the National Marine Science Centre’s Aquarium. Students observe a range of marine organisms and the habitats in which they live and also develop an understanding of the complex interactions between organisms. Students also gain an appreciation on the sustainable use of the marine environment. This activity includes a short documentary, a feeding demonstration, and a touch experience of some marine creatures.

>>> Download Undersea Explorer Activity Outline

>>> Download Undersea Explorer pre-excursion info

>>> Download Risk Management Plan Undersea Explorer Activity