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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. 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?

Students can identify their own problem and question to answer as they engage with this field trip, 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?


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. 

Share your students' work with LEARNZ!

Send us a small file (less than 10Mb). You can do this as an attachment to share@learnz.org.nz.

If it's a large file, send a link to a public file/resource to share@learnz.org.nz.

For example, entries can be uploaded onto a YouTube account with the privacy option on ‘Public'. Or send a link to a file in your school Google drive, set it to ‘Anyone with a link’, as ‘Viewer’. Please do not send in large source files.Make sure you provide us with your students' first names, year group/s and the name of your school in your email. Add a brief description if you think it's needed.  Before your students share any learning, please ensure you review it first; Any other media content, such as images and sound, need to adhere to appropriate Creative Commons licensing. Make sure any people who are in images and video have given their permission to feature.  

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.

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! Send to: share@learnz.org.nz

Useful links

Sustainable Seas Challenge
Resources, articles, research and tools to support a healthy ecosystem 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).