Summary of Sustainable seas: essential for NZ's health and wealth | NZ teachers, use this LEARNZ virtual field trip

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Summary Page: Sustainable seas: essential for NZ's health and wealth
Term 1 starting 3 March 2020.

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Join us during Seaweek 2020 to celebrate our connection with the sea and investigate the health of our marine environment. Your students will explore the many uses of marine areas and how we can better manage the human impacts on these valuable ecosystems. Students will identify different species living in Ōhiwa Harbour and explore the relationship between sea stars and mussels. They will touch a sea star, describe its physical characteristics and investigate its adaptations. Students will also take a closer look at mussels to discover what role they play in this ecosystem and how people are changing this environment.

We are an island nation with close ties to the marine environment. We are all affected by the ocean, even if we live a long way from the coast. The sea provides us with resources such as fisheries, tourism, shipping, and oil and gas. We also value the sea for food, recreation and spiritual well-being. Māori hold great respect for the ocean. It is a belief of many Māori people that the sea and its bounty is a Taonga Tuku iho - a treasure that has been passed down from previous generations. For that reason, it must be looked after to pass to future generations.

There is a growing conflict between the many uses of our marine environment. How can we manage these many uses? How can we meet the needs of Māori, local communities and industry? How do we make sure that our seas are understood, cared for and used wisely now and in the future? How can we grow a successful and sustainable marine economy? During the field trip your students will tackle these questions and help scientists to collect data to monitor a variety of impacts on coastal ecosystems.

On this field trip you will travel to Ōhiwa Harbour in the Bay of Plenty. Here you will join experts who are developing a special tool to help manage our seas sustainably. This tool is ecosystem-based management (EBM). Your class will explore the development of EBM and how it can be applied in different areas to maintain the health and wealth of our seas.

Seaweek is New Zealand's annual national week celebrating the sea. Hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE). Make the most of this week by joining us on this Sustainable Seas field trip. Enrol now.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • our marine environment
  • different types of marine ecosystems
  • what marine ecosystems do for humans and the environment (ecosystem services)
  • cultural, spiritual, economic and environmental values
  • our marine environment under stress
  • ecosystem-based management (EBM)
  • our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge


The Science Learning Hub

The Sustainable Seas Challenge

During this field trip you will:

  • follow tweets from Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher
  • travel to Ōhiwa Harbour in the Bay of Plenty
  • talk to local kaitiaki who are combining mātauranga Māori and western science to understand human impacts on Ōhiwa Harbour and help restore this ecosystem
  • take a boat ride with researchers
  • help collect mussels and sea stars for analysis
  • investigate the role of mussels - a taonga species
  • work with scientists to design experiments
  • use instruments and technology to measure our marine environment
  • fly a drone to monitor a coastal area
  • explore kaitiakitanga in the marine environment
  • investigate marine ecosystem services such as providing food, and removing pollutants
  • meet and question researchers involved in the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge
  • follow what's happening on the website and on twitter at #learnztrip

After the field trip:

  • investigate how your local marine environment benefits your community and region
  • get involved in helping make good decisions about our marine environment
  • consider what makes marine spaces important to other people
  • sign up for the Sustainable Seas newsletter to get news and updates about research

The LEARNZ Team think that joining NZASE and staying connected through NZ Science Teacher will help you become a better teacher of science.

Teacher comments

"The highlight of the trip was the web conference and the class being able to ask their burning questions. My whole teaching team were all very impressed with the field trip and with the level of motivation and engagement it evoked in our students". Justine Delport from Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School.

"The learning was relevant to our own estuary study and at a level my Year 5/6 children understood. This field trip hooked them in; students became curious and built their own scientific understanding of how habitats thrive.". Tarnia Pilcher from Hampden Street School.

"It has provided authentic and real contexts for teaching and learning and really engages students. It tied in with what we had been learning around Sea Week and covered all the key competencies as well as many learning areas such as Science, Health, Reading, and Oral Language.". Lisa Davies from Red Beach School.

Go to more comments about Sustainable Seas field trips.

Where you will go

You will travel to the Bay of Plenty in the North Island. This region has both coastal and offshore waters, a variety of marine environments and many different uses, activities and interests - some of which are competing.

Learning Areas/Levels

Science: Living World Levels 2-4, Nature of Science Levels 2-6; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-4

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, live tweets on twitter, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences on our enterprise-level Zoom platform scales to enable multiple teachers to manage students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a school assembly or wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View some of over 1,000 teacher comments in testimonials. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.

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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

biodiversity, changing values, EBM, ecology, ecosystem-based management, ecosystems, future focus, guardianship, kaitiaki, kaitiakitanga, marine communities, marine ecosystems, marine environment, marine research, marine science, matauranga, monitoring change, oceans, perspectives, plastics, recreation, scientific research, sea, sustainability, sustainable seas, tikanga, tourism, values