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A project-based learning approach in this field trip

Project-based learning (PBL) is a suggested teaching and learning approach to support student-led inquiry into an area of interest. PBL provides opportunities for students to build key competencies and skills such as:

  • critical thinking
  • problem solving
  • collaboration
  • self-management.

Use the online field trip: Seaweed: An ocean of opportunity to ignite student curiosity and questions, and the following framework to support student-led learning through PBL.


Individually or in a group, students can explore resources in this field trip to:

Use the questions on the field trip videos page and/or some of the following questions to help students consider key concepts:

  • What are some of the different types of seaweed in Aotearoa? (Which species are endemic, native and invasive?)
  • Where does seaweed come from? How does it grow?
  • What is the role of seaweed in its environment?
  • What are some of the traditional uses of seaweed in Aotearoa?
  • How is seaweed being used in aquaculture/an ocean economy in Aotearoa?
  • How many products do you know of that contain seaweed?
  • What products do you use that contain seaweed?
  • Why is it important to harvest seaweed in a sustainable way?
  • What does sustainability mean to you?

See, Think, Wonder

Project-based learning requires a meaningful and authentic problem to solve or question to answer. Students can identify this, supported by the following questions:

  • What do you SEE?
  • What do you THINK?
  • What did you WONDER about?
  • What QUESTIONS do you have?
  • What do you want to FIND OUT MORE about?

Support students to identify an area of interest, including a problem to solve or question to answer, For example:

  • Problem: The planet has a growing global population that needs to be fed.
  • Question: So... Why and how are people cultivating and harvesting seaweed in ways that benefit others, our oceans and our planet?


Help students to establish goals, plan, connect and create content and/or a solution. For example:

  • Plan and approach: Connect with people and information about research and work into sustainable seaweed aquaculture.  Explore other examples of sustainable food production.  
  • Solution: Implement an awareness campaign about the need for sustainable food production–like seaweed aquaculture.


Students analyse who they want to know about their project and why. Essentially who cares?

  • Who in the school and community would benefit from their ideas and information?
  • What careers connect with their ideas and information?
  • What organisations can use student ideas and information?
  • Is there need for a wider audience? National? Global?

Students identify how they will share their content for effective impact. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • School assembly and communications with whānau.
  • Showcase in a local library, community centre, cafe and/or to a local business.
  • A community event
  • Digital platform: in a movie, website, Google Earth for Web, on a school social media platform.
  • Local media outlets  

Enrol in this trip to send us your students' PBL outcomes. We would love to celebrate and share their learning! When you enrol we will send you information on how to send us links to files. 

Student self assessments

Your students can complete the online student pre-assessment and post-assessment forms for this field trip. Once completed you can email barrie.matthews@core-ed.org to have your class submissions extracted and emailed to you. It's OK if just some of your students have filled them in or if they have submitted either self assessment rather than both.

Supporting activities

  • Video question sheet - Word (31k) | PDF (217k) | Google doc to use for each video (based on SOLO Taxonomy).
  • Web conference activity: Students can work on this activity while they listen to live or recorded web conferences - Word (25k) | PDF (167k) | Google Doc. Notes from these pages could be shared to help put together the class web conference summary
  • Webconference summary sheet: A class summary of an web conference is a great way of reviewing the information your students heard. It's easy to do, purely as some text, or as main facts on a picture background.  - Word (29k) | PDF (114k) | Google doc.

Enrol in this trip to replay the web conferences if you missed them.

The LEARNZ team would love to see how students and teachers are participating in this trip! We will use your mahi to improve this and other online field trips, as well as share and credit any teacher and student contributions in our online spaces!

Enrol in this trip to send us students' responses to web conferences and videos and/or send us your ideas, activities and lesson plans to support this field trip. 

Useful links

Sustainable Seas Challenge
Resources, articles, research and tools to support a healthy eco-system in Aotearoa–NZ. Search for ‘seaweed’.

NZAEE Seaweek
Seaweek is NZAEE’s annual, national flagship event. It is run through NZAEE members and volunteers with support from a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations.

Science Learning Hub
New Zealand education resources, including:

NIWA teaching resources
Ocean teaching resources.

Experiencing Marine Reserves 
EMR is a national programme of experiential learning about marine conservation.

National Library
Ocean resources.

New Zealand Marine Studies Centre
A window on marine research at the University of Otago with an aquarium which showcases marine life from Southern New Zealand waters.

New Zealand's marine biodiversity
Department of Conservation information.

Young Ocean Explorers - Love Our Ocean 
Young Ocean Explorers aim is to inspire children to love our ocean through entertaining education.

Marine Metre Squared 
Resources to support incorporating MM2 into your school curriculum. Produced by NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago.

Life's a beach
Provides learning activities about the beach environment - the sea, beach, sand dunes, dune vegetation and reserve areas. Produced by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Students rebuild > The ocean challenge
Connecting students worldwide in a common effort to make a difference.

New Zealand Science Teacher
A resource published on behalf of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE).