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  • Seaweek is New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea. It is coordinated by the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre (MERC) and includes a wide range of events, activities, competitions and opportunities for action. It usually runs for a week from the end of February – early March.

    Find out more about the next event Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2024.

    With 75% of New Zealanders living within 10 km of the coast, marine science need not be limited to just 1 week, marine contexts can link to many different science concepts. This resource provides a sample of the Hub's marine resources. Use the Related topics & Concepts tab at the top of a page to find an even wider variety of teaching resources.

    Below is a selection of unit plans and other teacher support materials that we have grouped under possible teaching topics.

    Healthy Seas – Healthy People

    Rights: NIWA, Chang et al. (2005) and Miriam Godfrey

    Red tide

    A spectacular red tide (non-toxic) of Noctiluca scintillans at Leigh, near Cape Rodney in New Zealand.



    Human impacts on the sea

    Rights: University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved.

    Ecosystem overfishing

    Large-scale fishing operations resulting in overfishing disturb the ecological balance of marine ecosystems.

    ‘Fishing down the food web’ means fishing for smaller and smaller fish because the larger ones are fished out.




    Citizen science project: Marine Metre Squared

    Habitats and ecosystems

    New Zealand’s marine environment

    In this video, Dr Candida Savage, from the University of Otago, talks about how New Zealand’s pristine habitats are like ‘natural laboratories’. This is because they offer good opportunities to study naturally functioning systems and to learn more about what different habitats may have been like before human impact.


    Interactive: Marine ecosystem


    Mātauranga Māori and the moana



    Sea creatures


    Rights: Revive Our Gulf/ Mussel Reef Restoration Trust

    Before and after

    This before and after shot of the work of the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust to create new seabed mussel reefs shows very promising results.

    The ocean’s chemical and physical processes

    Rights: The University of Waikato

    Ocean salinity, temperature and density

    Salinity and temperature of the ocean rise or fall (indicated by arrows) in response to rainfall, evaporation and solar radiation. These properties affect seawater density, causing water to sink or rise (indicated by arrows).



    The ocean and climate change

    Rights: Kim Currie

    Ocean carbon dioxide around New Zealand

    Data from cruises around New Zealand has been used to map CO2 in surface waters. This will be combined with satellite data to create a more accurate picture.


    Student activity: Ocean acidification and eggshells

    Ecosystem services

    Mussels includes the videos: Revive our Gulf and Mussels filtering water



    Department of Conservation marine infographics

    The Department of Conservation and the Science Learning Hub have collaborated to create a series of interactives that feature many of DOC’s marine infographics.

    Building Science Concepts

    Building Science Concepts: Life between the tides is a partial replication of Building Science Concepts Book 21:

    Building Science Concepts: Tidal communities is a partial replication of Building Science Concepts Book 22:

    Teacher support materials

    Find out more about marine education and Seaweek in these resources below

    Online professional development

    Are you planning for Seaweek or a marine topic? We have it covered in our recorded professional development webinars:

    Unit plans

    Topic planners: Marine resources – food webs, adaptation, marine habitats, marine biodiversity.

    Education research and classroom experiences


    They’ll have it now

    Gail Thomson, Associate Principal at Swanson School, and her students use resources from across the Hub to explore the effects of temperature and salinity on ocean currents and water density.

    Literacy links

    These Connected articles provide a brief synopsis of the original jounal article, associated teacher support material and links to the digital resources on TKI. They also provide a wealth of related Hub content and activity ideas – wrap-around resources to deepen or extend student thinking and learning, practise content vocabulary or prompt inquiry.

    Citizen science

    Using online citizen science opportunities as a way to deepen student learning and engagement is easier than you think.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    Observing fish

    This image illustrates the potential difficulties with classifying fish.

    The two fish at the top left are both blue cod but they are at different stages in their lifespan. Some species, such as the banded wrasse (the two images at the top right) can vary in colour. Observation is also impacted by factors such as lighting as shown in the bottom two images, which are both of a scarlet wrasse.

    Useful links

    Visit the Seaweek website to find local events, competitions and more.

    Visit one or more of the Hub’s Pinterest boards below for more resources:

    This classroom module for marine biosecurity is designed for years 5-8 to help them understand the role they play in protecting our coastlines. It is provided in both Google Docs and as printable PDFs so that it's easy for teachers to use. Part 3 uses the Marine Metre Squared project.

    Listen to this podcast collaboration between RNZ’s science and environment podcast Our Changing World and New Zealand Geographic, Voice of Tangaroa that explores the state of our oceans.

      Published 4 February 2016, Updated 16 January 2024 Referencing Hub articles
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