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Year 7 -10 Programs

Teachers are welcome to customise their program or select from the themes below


Classification and Taxonomy

Focus on the diverse range of marine phyla and how we classify animals. Hands on classification activity with live animals to understand the similarities and differences between organisms and why classification is important to understanding our world.

Science Curriculum link – Year 7 There are differences within and between groups of organisms: (ACSSU111)


Food Chains and Food Webs

Students learn about herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and how energy moves through food chains. We investigate the importance of tiny plankton and learn how humans impact marine food webs. Option to link this to sustainable fishing program and aquaculture program.

Science Curriculum link – Year 7 Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human can affect these interactions (ACSSU112)


Water as a Resource

Investigate the water cycle in terms of climate, ocean currents and sea ice. Look at hydrodynamic models and understand the relationship between ocean currents and temperature and salinity. Understand fresh water is a finite resource and learn about marine pollution. Can be linked to sustainable fishing program.

Science Curriculum link – Year 7 Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment (ACSSU222) Some of earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)


Fishing for the Future

Aquaculture is a major industry in Tasmania and food security is of ever increasing importance with exponentially expanding population. We take the RV Penghana to a fish farm lease and discuss responsible fishing techniques as well as some of the environmental challenges in aquaculture and technological advances that are leading to improved global practice in this area.

Science Curriculum link – Year 7 Some of earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)


Body Structures and Cells

Focusing on cells and body organs, students investigate the physiological adaptations of marine animals that allow them to survive underwater such as gills, sensory organs and reproductive strategies. Students will be able to hold live animals and compare and contrast different phyla. Students will use microscopes to view plankton and discuss cilia, flagellum, chloroplasts and mitochondria in a comparison between phytoplankton and zooplankton

Science Curriculum link – Year 8 Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce (ACSSU150) Cells are the basic units of living things; they have specialised structures and functions (ACSSU149)



We discuss how different rock type causes different types of sand and sediment and high energy and low energy coasts. Use the Van Veen Grab on board RV Penghana to take sediment samples from the sea floor of the channel and use the remotely controlled underwater vehicle to conduct a seafloor survey. We also discuss seafloor imaging technology.

Science Curriculum link – Year 8 Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks contain minerals and are formed by processes that occur within Earth over a variety of timescales (ACSSU153)


Marine Ecosystems

Detailed discussion and case study of marine ecosystems, focusing on human impacts. Students will learn what happens when an ecosystem is disrupted by an introduced species or changed as a result of climate change. Case studies include the long spined sea urchin, Northern Pacific Sea Star, and the changes in the East Australian Current.

Science Curriculum link – Year 9 Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment: matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176).


Body Systems

Focuses on the nervous system, oxygen transport system, digestive system and reproductive systems of three groups of animals – vertebrates (sharks), echinoderms and molluscs. Students investigate the physiological adaptations of marine animals that allow them to survive underwater. Students will be able to hold live animals and compare and contrast different phyla.

Science Curriculum link – Year 9 Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175)


Underwater Plate Tectonics

Discuss undersea geological features such as deep ocean trenches, underwater volcanoes and how Wegener’s theory of Plate Tectonics contributed to our understanding of the movement of contents. Use the mapping and sonar equipment on board RV Penghana as well as the ROV to investigate the bathometry of the channel.

Science Curriculum link – Year 9 The theory of plate tectonics explains global patterns of geological activity and continental movement (ACSSU180)


DNA and Natural Selection

Focus on two case studies: We consider natural selection and the rising problem of global ‘jellyfish blooms’ and also examine the life cycle of jellyfish to discuss meiosis and mitosis (sexual and asexual reproduction). Genetic technology in aquaculture; and using eDNA to track the virus implicated in Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome.

Science Curriculum link – Year 10 The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185).


Ocean Acidification

Study the carbon cycle in relation to reactions involving the acidification of sea water and global attempts to mitigate carbon in the atmosphere (such as using the ocean as a carbon sink). Discussion focuses on ocean chemistry and physical oceanography (ocean circulation systems involving the atmosphere and hydrosphere).

Science Curriculum link – Year 10 Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products and can occur at different rates (ACSSU187). Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. (ACSSU189)


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