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Seaweek 2011: Spotlight on Marine Science

Marine Science Matters! - a unit for primary schools






Ask students to identify problems in the marine and coastal environments, they think could occur as a result of direct and indirect human impact. Group those together that relate to caring for ourselves and these environments, the ocean water and technology. Brainstorm possible solutions for these problems. How could the work of scientists help in generating solutions to these problems?

Prepare a chart to record student findings.

Example Solution
Caring for the ourselves and the coastal and marine environment
The ocean water    

Mime or Role-Play

Ask students to mime or role-play scenarios that model ways we can reduce human impact on coastal and marine environments


Students design signs to go around the classroom, school and home to remind others about ways to reduce direct human impact on coastal and marine environments or to promote the value of marine science research. For example:

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  • design a sticker for boats to be distributed by the Maritime Services Bureau (or equivalent in your state or territory) to ensure fishers bring their plastic bait packets back to shore for proper disposal
  • make a poster to promote alternatives to plastic bags
  • make a short Powerpoint presentation or video promoting the work of a chosen marine scientist to show why marine science research should be supported
  • design a pamphlet displaying what you have found about a particular marine issue from your research

Marine art and issues

Some ideas to help you integrate art into this unit include:

  • Beach art (see Weekend Marine Science - Art and Science).
  • Enter your students’ artworks in the Marine Art, Poster & ICT challenge
  • Resource 6 - Tropical fish wall paper and Resource 7 - Fish patterns.

Sand science

Sand can be more interesting than you think. If you have a beach nearby see the Weekend Marine Science – Sand Science resource on the MESA web page. Otherwise, have students do some research into different types of sand. Rob Holman, a coastal oceanographer from Oregon State University, has collected more than 860 samples of sand, from all continents; he has an interactive website that shows you where each sample was collected and has photos of each that you can compare (see web links). There is also a news story about his research and an audio slide show that includes findings from Palm Beach in NSW (see web links).

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