Schools Engagement Activities (SEA) Program

undersea life
boy at aquarium

Connecting students with actual scientists

Using a state-of-the-art marine research facility and the ecologically unique Solitary Islands as a backdrop, Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre offers innovative field and laboratory based activities in the area of 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 Science, Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Geography, Chemistry, and Marine and Aquaculture technology.

The SEA program is developed by our education staff to assist teachers in meeting the New South Wales Board of Studies/Australian Curriculum Key Learning Area outcomes.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture Biology

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

Stage:  5 (years 9-10)

KLA: Science/Marine and Aquaculture Technology

Aquaculture Biology outline Aquaculture Biology risk assessment
Marine-Taxo

Marine Taxonomy

In this laboratory activity, students will conduct hands-on inquiry-based investigations to make links between organism structure and function by identifying key characteristics of a range of living marine organisms.

Stage: 4/5 (years 7-9)

KLA: Science

Marine Taxonomy outline Marine Taxonomy risk assessment
fish bio

Fish Biology

This laboratory activity introduces students to the morphology and physiology of fishes. It will allow students to gain an understanding of general fish characteristics through a theoretical and practical first-hand investigation.

Stage: 5 (years 9-10)

KLA: Biology/Science/Marine and Aquaculture Technology

Fish Biology outline Fish Biology risk assessment
Student using microscope

Embryology

In this laboratory activity, students examine the process of fertilisation and embryonic development of the polychaete tubeworm Galeolaria.  Students will review the processes of mitosis and meiosis and compare and contrast the different stages of embryonic development through a theoretical and practical first-hand investigation.

Stage: 5/6 (years 10-11)

KLA: Biology

Embryology outline Embryology risk assessment
Subtropical-reefs

Subtropical Reefs Analysis

In this computer lab activity, students examine the benthic composition of two subtropical rocky reefs.  Students will employ the same scientific methods and equipment used by marine researchers, compare their results gained from a computer analysis program and discuss the factors that help to shape the benthos at different depths.

Stage: 5 (years 9-10)

KLA: Biology/Science

Subtropical reefs outline Subtropical reefs risk assessment
Sus-Rec-Fishing

Sustainable Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Australia.  In this activity, students are introduced to freshwater and marine fishing, the significance of aquatic life and life cycles, catch and release skills, and the importance of sustaining a quality fish habitat, while practising safe and responsible fishing behaviours.

Stage: 4/5 (years 7-10)

KLA: Marine and Aquaculture Technology

Sustainable recreational fishing outline Sustainable recreational fishing risk assessment
Ocean-Climate-Change

Ocean Climate Change

Students will review the challenges the oceans face due to human induced climate change through a theoretical and hands-on laboratory 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 over time.

Stage: 5/6 (year 9-12)

KLA: Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geography

Ocean climate change outline Ocean climate change risk assessment
Coastal-Management

Coastal Dynamics and Management

Waves, wind, and currents shape our beaches every day and are one of the most rapidly changing physical environments on Earth. In this activity students will investigate the physical processes that influence and alter our coastlines.  Students will also examine humans' impact on coastal areas and consider methods for mitigating those impacts through practical and theoretical experience.

Stage: 4/5 (years 8-10)

KLA: Geography, Marine and Aquaculture Technology

Coastal management outline Coastal management risk assessment
Mangrove

Mangrove Ecosystems *

In this activity, students explore the ecology of mangrove ecosystems and gain an appreciation for the diversity of life which they possess.  Through a practical field-based investigation, students will examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that these life forms possess, as well as investigate the impact humans can have on this environment.

Stage: 4/5 (years 7-10)

KLA: Biology, Geography

* tide dependent

Mangrove ecosystems outline Mangrove ecosystems risk assessment
Rocky-Shore

Rocky Shores Ecosystems *

In this field study, students will examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that animals and plants possess to exist on a rocky shore ecosystem. Using scientific methods, students will develop and perform a study to investigate the various zones of the rocky shore and propose if/why differences were observed.

Stage: 4/5 (year 7-10)

KLA: Science

* tide dependent

Rocky shores ecosystems outline Rocky shores ecosystems risk assessment
Sandy-Shore

Sandy Shores Ecosystems *

Within this activity, students explore the ecology of coastal sandy shore ecosystems and gain an understanding of the diversity of life they contain. Students will identify organisms that inhabit sandy shorelines and examine a number of environmental factors which influence their distribution and abundance using the scientific method in this field-based activity.

Stage: 4/5 (years 7-10)

KLA:  Science

* tide dependent

Sandy shores ecosystems outline Sandy shores ecosystems risk assessment
Seabirds

Birds of our Coast

Within this activity, students examine the ecology of coastal seabirds and shorebirds within their natural habitats and gain an understanding of the diverse range of species present. Students will examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that seabirds and shorebirds possess that enable them to live successfully around water. Students will observe, identify and record a variety of local bird species during this field-based activity.

Stage: 4 (years 7-8)

KLA:  Science

Birds of our Coast outline Birds of our Coast risk assessment
Marine-Debris

Marine Debris

Each year, it is estimated that 8 million tonnes of rubbish enters the ocean – mainly in the form of plastic.  This can have devastating effects on the marine environment.  In this field and laboratory activity, students gain an understanding of the marine debris problem and perform a first-hand investigation of a local beach.

Stage: 4/5 (years 7-10)

KLA: Science/ Marine and Aquaculture Technology

Marine debris outline Marine debris risk assessment
Human-impacts-of-River-Ecosys

Human Impacts on River Ecosystems

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 analyse and discuss the results to ascertain the river's health.

Stage: 6 (year 11-12)

KLA: Science/Geography

Catchment management outline Catchment management risk assessment
Rocky-Shore

Rock Pool Ramble

In this field study, students will examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that animals and plants possess to exist on a rocky shore ecosystem.  Using scientific methods, students will develop and perform a study to investigate the various zones of the rocky shore and propose if/why differences were observed.

Stage: 3 (years 5-6)

KLA: Science

* tide dependent

Rock pool ramble outline Rock pool ramble risk assessment
Sandy-Shore

Sandy Shores *

Within this activity, students explore the ecology of coastal sandy shore ecosystems and gain an understanding of the diversity of life they contain. Students will identify organisms that inhabit sandy shorelines and examine a number of environmental factors that influence their distribution and abundance using the scientific method in this field-based activity.

Stage: 3 (years 5-6)

KLA:  Science

* tide dependent

Sandy shores outline Sandy shores risk assessment
Seabirds

Birds of our Coast

Within this activity, students examine the ecology of coastal seabirds and shorebirds within their natural habitats and gain an understanding of the diverse range of species present. Students will examine the varying characteristics and adaptations that seabirds and shorebirds possess that enable them to live successfully around water. Students will observe, identify and record a variety of local bird species during this field-based activity.

Stage: 3 (years 5-6)

KLA:  Science

Birds of our coast outline Birds of our coast risk assessment
Sea-Me

Sea Me

In this activity, students work collaboratively to observe and classify a range of marine organisms and record the physical characteristics which differentiate these organisms. Students learn to make links between organism structure and function and lifestyle characteristics in the laboratory hands-on activity.

Stage: 2/3 (years 3-6)

KLA: Science

Sea me outline Sea me risk assessment
web-of-life

Web of Life

In this activity, students will learn how organisms consume and transfer energy in an ecosystem. Students investigate producer and consumer interactions and dynamics through discussion and by working through a food web interactive activity.

Stage: 2/3 (years 4-6)

KLA:  Science

Web of life outline Web of life risk assessment
Marine-Debris

Marine Debris

Each year it is estimated that 8 million tonnes of rubbish enters the ocean – mainly in the form of plastic.  This can have devastating effects on the marine environment.  In this field and laboratory activity, students gain an understanding of the marine debris problem and perform a first-hand investigation of a local beach.

Stage: 3 (years 5-6)

KLA: Science

Marine debris outline Marine debris risk assessment
Undersea-Explorer

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 of the sustainable use of the marine environment.

Stage: 1-3 (years 1-6)

KLA:  Science

Undersea explorer outline Undersea explorer risk assessment Undersea explorer pre-excursion information
sand crystals

Science of Sand

Every grain of sand has its own story and history.  In this field and laboratory activity, students will investigate the microscopic world of sand, what it is made of and how it ends up on our beaches. 

Stage: 3 (years 5-6)

KLA:  Science

Science of sand outline Science of sand risk assessment

Information for Teachers

Making a booking

You can use the online form to make a booking request.

Cost

Pricing for our program is;

$8/student for the Undersea Explorer activity
(aquarium tour) with a minimum payment of $120

$12/student for Field Activities with a
minimum payment of $220

$12/student for Lab Activities with a
minimum payment of $180

(* teachers and support staff free of charge for all activities)

Duration

Activities take approximately 90 minutes to complete (plus travel time for field activities).

Activity Materials

Materials for all activities will be provided. This includes student workbooks and pencils.

Payment for Activities

Activities can be paid via invoice, cheque, EPTPOS, credit card, or cash. Payment can be made on the day or after the event via invoice.

Clothing Requirements

Field and Lab activities require that students wear covered footwear. Although not mandatory, it is advised that students wear a hat, use sunscreen and bring drinking water with them for activities in the field.

Disabled Accessibility

All areas of the aquarium are wheelchair accessible.

Toilets

The aquarium has toilet/disabled toilet facilities.

Lunch/snack Dining Area

Located 100m from the National Marine Science Centre, Charlesworth Bay park has picnic tables, a large grassy area and public toilets.

 

 

For more information, please get in contact

The Southern Cross University Aquarium offers diverse marine life, environmental education, and research opportunities. Explore the wonders of Australia's underwater world.

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turtlr swimming underwater

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