Freshwater Studies is a whole day program in which students investigate an aquatic environment to assess the impact of cane toads on the biodiversity of the local waterway.
The program commences with an introduction to biotic and abiotic factors that may affect organisms’ survival within an ecosystem, including predation and competition.
A Horiba water quality meter is used to measure and record abiotic information on the physical and chemical properties of a waterway (e.g. temperature, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen). Students collect aquatic animals using sampling nets and then classify a range of macro and micro-invertebrates using microscopes, classification keys and iPad applications.
Using the aquatic animals classified during the day, students construct food chains to enhance their understanding of feeding relationships and how these relationships are impacted by changes in the aquatic environment. Students interpret food webs to assess the extent of impact of introduced species.
Students analyse all of the data and information collected throughout the day to justify why removing introduced species from a freshwater ecosystem can have a positive impact on its biodiversity.
The program concludes with students getting up close and personal with live animals and discussing factors that influence their health and distribution.
Freshwater Studies has been assessed as medium risk. A Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment is available on request. A student field booklet will be provided upon confirmation of your booking.
- Classification helps organise the diverse group pf organisms (ACSSU111)
- Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112)
Science Inquiry Skills
- Measure and control variables, select equipment appropriate to the task and collect data with accuracy. (ACSIS126)
- Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence. (ACSIS130)
Science as a Human Endeavour
- Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)