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Field trip activities: Seabed mapping

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Field trip: What lies beneath? Discovering the secrets of our seabed

These activities are designed to deepen ākonga appreciation of the significance of exploring and understanding our seafloor through underwater surveying. They are suitable for ākonga in years 7 - 10 but flexible for various year levels.

Kaiako can use the field trip materials to facilitate discussions and stimulate critical thinking among ākonga, using activities to launch into more in-depth exploration. The Solo taxonomy rubric (below) is an assessment tool that meets the specific needs of different learning levels and styles.

Introduction to hydrography and seabed mapping

  • Play the field trip video about hydrography and the importance of mapping the seabed.
  • Discuss how hydrography contributes to safe navigation, understanding ocean ecosystems, and resource exploration.
  • Show examples of nautical charts and explain their significance.

Group presentation and discussion

  • Divide ākonga into small groups.
  • Assign each group a distinct aspect of the field trip, such as the data collected in seabed mapping, the technology employed, the roles of individuals involved, and the application of this type of data.
  • Groups compile information related to their assigned topic by engaging with the field trip materials and sharing their findings with the class.

Virtual field trip journal

  • During the virtual field trip, ask ākonga to keep a journal to record their observations, questions, and reflections, helping them process what they've learned and stimulate critical thinking.

Map the seabed

  • Provide ākonga with a small area map (e.g. a small tub, paddling pool or similar.).
  • Add different elements like rocks, sand, or shipwrecks. Ākonga can use simple tools (like a ruler or string) to measure the depth in different areas.
  • Discuss how this process is similar to hydrographic surveying.

Environmental and/or social impact research

  • Use the field trip material to discuss the social and environmental impact of seabed mapping.
  • Ākonga can present further findings on how mapping can affect marine ecosystems and communities.

Nautical chart analysis:

  • Explore the different types of charts available on the LINZ (Land Information New Zealand) website, specifically in the "Hydrographic & Maritime" category.
  • Ask ākonga to identify different types of charts e.g. Bathymetric, Coastal, Approach charts, etc.
  • Discuss the purpose for these charts and how the information is used.

Seabed mapping activity

  • Encourage ākonga to create their own seabed maps as drawings, digitally, or in 3D - using materials like modelling clay. Ākonga can highlight features depicted in topographic maps, such as trenches, ridges, continental shelves, etc. Introduce the concept of bathymetry and contour lines to represent depth.

Become a map-making explorer!

  • Discover a range of careers in charting new territories. Ākonga can research different career options and present the skills, education, and opportunities associated with each in the context of surveying and map-making.

Marine management simulation

  • Develop a classroom simulation where ākonga take on roles in marine management, utilising geospatial data to make decisions about coastal development, fishing, and environmental protection. This hands-on activity encourages critical thinking.

Geocaching adventure

  • Introduce ākonga to geocaching, a real-world outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS devices or smartphone apps. Create a geocaching route with hidden containers (geocaches) containing small prizes. This activity enhances their geospatial technology skills.

Interactive GIS exploration

  • Using online geographic information systems (GIS) tools like Google Earth, ākonga can explore famous landmarks, natural wonders, or historical locations. They can create virtual tours or presentations about their destinations, integrating geospatial technology.