The National Aquarium runs an extensive range of education programmes for early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary students. Via the tabs below you can find out more about our programmes, associated activities and worksheets, along with additional educational information relevant to the New Zealand Curriculum
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Ever wondered what it takes to operate the National Aquarium's Oceanarium? And how do you think the aquarium keeps all its animals alive and healthy? Students will get a behind the scenes look at the technology that keeps the National Aquarium running. They'll also get to test the salinity, pH and temperature of the water in the aquarium's tanks.
Examine a fish inside and out and see what it had for lunch the day it was caught! Students study how fish respire (breathe), reproduce, and sense their surrounding environment. Conduct an investigation to discover the effect water temperature has on respiration rates. Observe the organisms that call a fish their home, and learn how we manage these fish parasites at the National Aquarium.
Gas Exchange Experiment
Using Yellow-Eyed Mullet in tanks, with three different temperatures of saltwater, students monitor the breathing patterns of fish in these conditions. A close look at fish gills, a worksheet to support the experiment and a tour of the aquarium help to build students' learning.
This compliments AS: 2.6 Describe diversity in structure and function of animals; as exchange topic and could also lead into students thinking about doing a practical experiment for NCEA AS90457 2.1.
Focus on the internal and external features of fish in comparison with other aquatic animals.
Students can also observe a locust dissection then discuss its internal respiration features. Locust availability is seasonally dependent.
Close Observation Ideas
Find out what a fish had for breakfast! From a dissected fish, students carefully pull out stomach contents into a small petri dish, rinse with salt water, then see if they can identify fins, heads, shells and generally what the fish has recently eaten.
At the LAB your students can uncover more about earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions.They’ll learn about scientists’ latest discoveries and become scientists themselves creating their very own tsunami and volcanic eruption. Bring your students for a natural hazards education experience at LAB.
Hands-on and engaging activities will set a solid framework for their learning. Students will use bottles filled with liquids to simulate tsunami; they will mix various ingredients to create their own volcano; and build examples of strong and weak houses to see which is strongest in an earthquake.
A challenge will be presented to the students to develop their own action plan at home.