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  • This article uses a citizen science project carried out by three schools on Aotea Great Barrier Island as the context to explore marine debris and the dangers it poses to marine life. It also provides a useful framework for schools that are considering the undertaking of a similar project.

    Environmental issues, such as marine litter, provide an ideal topic for authentic scientific inquiry and action. This Connected article explains the process of asking questions, gathering and processing data, presenting information and taking community action.

    Teacher support material

    Check your school resource area for the article from the 2019 level 2 Connected journal Wild Discoveries, download it as a Google slide presentation or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from TKI (Word and PDF files). It has three activity ideas – Food web, Using science to clean up our neighbourhood and Investigating plastic – along with resource links.

    Related content

    The article Thinking about plastic – planning pathways contains pedagogical and curriculum information. It includes the interactive Planning pathways – thinking about plastic, which curates many of the Hub’s resources.

    Peruse marine citizen science projects on the Hub, along with a helpful webinar and planning article.

    Find out about the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge Ocean Plastic Simulator an interactive computer tool that shows where plastic is likely to end up when it is dropped in the ocean.

    Find out how plastic can accumulate in the marine food web with the activity Build a marine food web.

    Our Sea science and plastic collection is full of ideas on how to use this Connected article and related resources with your students.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful link

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 18 March 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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