Sydney Harbour – investigating an estuary

A Science Enrichment Project for Year 10 to support high achievement in science

Sydney Harbour – investigating an estuary, is a Year 10 Science program designed to help prepare students for Stage 6 Marine Studies, Biology and Earth and Environmental Science. The program also supports the Sustainability Education Policy for Schools objectives of fostering values and attitudes in students that result in behaviour change for a more sustainable school and local environment.

Program aims:

  • To investigate the marine environment of Sydney Harbour and to develop knowledge, skills and understanding about the marine environment and its biological diversity
  • To provide opportunities for students to work scientifically through fieldwork techniques to investigate estuarine habitats 
  • To engage students in authentic learning around investigating the impact of human activity on the functioning of habitats in estuarine ecosystems 
  • To develop an understanding about the management practices used to protect estuarine environments including marine engineering an technological advances 
  • To promote science as a career by exposing students to research projects and scientific procedures
  • To investigate the marine environment of Sydney Harbour and to develop knowledge, skills and understanding about the marine environment and its biological diversity

Syllabus outcomes:

Outcome 5.3: A student evaluates the impact of applications of science on society and the environment.
Outcome 5.10: A student assesses human impacts on the interaction of biotic and abiotic features of the environment.

Further Program Information:

  • Program availability: Groups of up to 15 Science students (and their teacher/s) in Sydney Schools
  • Date: 2014 dates TBC
  • Time: 8.30 – 3.00
  • How to book: Download the Expression of interest and return via the faxback form

View the field work overview below for more information on the program activities.

Risk Management:

To help you prepare your excursion risk assessment documentation, please download the program Safety & Welfare information. Please note the snorkeling session is optional and is supervised by qualified snorkeling instructors from Lands Edge, (a private outdoor education provider), in the swimming enclosure at Chowder Bay. View the bottom of this page for an image of the snorkeling site.

The 1 hour and 15 min snorkeling session has three components:

  1. An orientation to the site and a safety talk.
  2. A demonstration of the use of the snorkeling equipment.
  3. Supervised snorkeling in the Chowder Bay swimming enclosure with one instructor snorkeling with the students and one instructor supervising and observing the group from a surfboard.

To further help prepare your excursion risk assessment documentation, download the Lands Edge Risk Assessment information.

Lands Edge requires all teachers to sign a Limitation of Liability for Groups form which should be forwarded to Lands Edge at least two weeks prior to the fieldwork day.

Program Format 

Pre visit activities (to be completed before the fieldwork day)

View the following film clips to help you prepare for your fieldwork activities:

A. The Beauty of Barangaroo Link to help you understand and appreciate the proposed Lend Lease development at Barangaroo, which you will observe on your ferry tour.

B. Captain Charles Moore on the seas of plastic

C. Underwater Sydney – Mosman Link (Search under Explore/Mosman)

On the Day 

See fieldwork overview below. 

Follow up activity

  • View The Death Of Oceans to learn more about the effects of acidification on our oceans and reefs.

Observatory Hill EEC would like to thank Lend Lease and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) for their support of this program.

Risk Assessment Pro Forma – Sydney Harbour

Fieldwork overview

Activity  Fieldwork in Action 
Marine Environment Tour from Aquarium Wharf to SIMS Chowder Bay

The fieldwork tour includes a detailed commentary on Sydney Harbour’s marine environment including causes of marine pollution (eg dioxins and stormwater) and the effects of urban runoff on estuaries, foreshore developments, estuarine vegetation associations, estuarine habitats and organisms, marine engineering initiatives etc. The tour also includes a detailed commentary by a Lend Lease environmental engineer on the marine engineering and protection strategies being undertaken at Barangaroo. The tour takes in the foreshore from Darling Harbour to Chowder Bay.

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Marine Biology and plankton study in the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) theatrette

Students will view a presentation on Marine debris and study plankton samples that have been collected en route to Chowder Bay through a microscope projection.

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Marine Biodiversity Study

Students will study the physiology and adaptations of selected marine species like flounder, crabs, prawns, octopus etc Students also undertake a series of activities including using a key to classify a crab and a study of food chains and food webs to understand relationships between species in an ecosystem.

 

 

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Water Quality Testing

Students will undertake water quality testing using chemicals and data harvest software and probes on DER laptops.

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Either 

Students can participate in a national marine debris survey to determine the amount of plastic and other pollution on Chowder Bay beach and view marine organism through an underwater camera or

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Snorkel in Clifton Gardens Reserve swimming enclosure with Lands Edge and/or class teacher

Students will have the opportunity to snorkel in the Clifton Gardens swimming enclosure with their class teachers and/or expert divers from Lands Edge to view marine organisms up close.

The 1 hour and 15 min snorkeling session has three components:

1 An orientation to the site and a safety talk.

2 A demonstration of the use of the snorkeling equipment.

3 Supervised snorkeling in the Chowder Bay swimming enclosure with one instructor snorkeling with the students and one instructor supervising and observing the group from a surfboard.

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Location of Snorkeling activity in the Chowder Bay swimming enclosure.

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