• iceberg
  • boy with flowers
  • checking water quality
  • planet eclipse
  • solarsystem model
  • rangitoto trees
  • kids with test tubes
  • kids with earth
  • snowy mountains
  • teens in physics class
  • Rainbow Clouds

    Refraction and diffraction of light through ice crystals in the clouds

  • Philippa On The Ice

    Philippa On The Ice Philippa Werry at an Antarctic research camp 2016

New Zealand Science Teacher

Science Education & Society

Dive in to Sea Week 2014

Take the opportunity to explore the coastline with your science students.

Sea Week is a chance to really enjoy our marine environment, says national coordinator, Mels Barton.

“This year’s event looks to be the best ever: there’s a huge range of interesting activities happening all over the country,” she says.

Our fragile, finite taonga’ is the theme for 2014, which highlights the precious nature of our marine resource. Mels explains that one of the overarching aims of Sea Week is to bring together the myriad of different groups that utilise and work to protect the New Zealand coastline.

The official week runs from March 1–9, and the wide variety of activities and events organised aim to raise awareness of subjects such as water pollution, sustainable fishing, and marine reserves.

Whether you’re looking for ways to mark the week with your family, friends, or students, a good place to start is the Sea Week website. You’ll find an overview of the planned events arranged by region.

Just some of the activities include:

-          A huge clean-up of the Waiheke coast by Sustainable Coastlines and 1000 accompanying students, in honour of Sea Week.


-          Guided snorkeling in marine reserves around the country.


-          Boat trips, walks, and talks.


-          Several competitions, including poetry and photography.


-          The ‘Goodbye godwits‘ event, which has grown hugely over the past few years.


-          A fun ‘penguin parade’ dress-up event, as part of the special Auckland Harbour Sea Week Hub.


-          Several ‘citizen science’ initiatives, including ‘Marine Metre Squared’, wherein the public can learn to survey and record the inhabitants of a square metre of coast and track changes in the same location over time.


Mels says she’s pleased to see participation in Sea Week growing each year, with schools taking part in the activities, or basing some of their science learning around the designated week.

“As an education programme, it’s really inspiring to me,” she says. “It’s about teaching young people to understand the interconnectedness of everything, and how integral humans are to the system.

“For example, everything we dispose of affects our waterways: from driving and washing our cars, to what we throw away: it all makes its way into the sea.”

“It’s really about highlighting the connection between our everyday activities, and the effect of those on our marine environment,” she says.

There’s a huge list of free and interesting resources for teachers here. In addition, in November each year, education workshops are held for teachers, in preparation for the following year’s events.

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