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Symbol key

  • Gather & Interpret dataGather & Interpret data
  • Use evidenceUse evidence
  • Critique evidenceCritique evidence
  • Interpret representationsInterpret representations
  • Engage with scienceEngage with science
  • Understanding about scienceUnderstanding about science
  • Investigating in scienceInvestigating in science
  • Communicating in scienceCommunicating in science
  • Participating and contributingParticipating and contributing
  • Living worldLiving world
  • Material worldMaterial world
  • Physical worldPhysical world
  • Planet Earth and beyondPlanet Earth and beyond

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Rapid response to the Rena Capability: Engage with science NoS achievement aims: Understanding about science NoS achievement aims: Participating and contributing Contextual strands: Living world Contextual strands: Planet Earth and beyond Level : 3,4

Science Learning Hub

Watching a video of the rapid response to the Rena disaster provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their capability to engage with science.

Curriculum Aims and AOs

The Nature of Science strand


Achievement objectives relevant to this resource

Participating and contributing

Bring a scientific perspective to decisions and actions as appropriate.

L3 & 4:

Use their growing science knowledge when considering issues of concern to them.

Understanding about science

Students will learn about science as a knowledge system: the features of scientific knowledge and the processes by which it is developed; and learn about the ways in which the work of scientists interacts with society.

L3 & 4:

Identify ways in which scientists work together and provide evidence to support their ideas.

Living World, Planet Earth and Beyond


Achievement objectives relevant to this resource


Understand how living things interact with each other and the non-living environment.

L3 & 4:

Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human induced.

Earth Systems

Investigate and understand the spheres of the Earth system: geosphere [land], hydrosphere [water], atmosphere [air], and biosphere [life].

L3 & 4:

Appreciate that water, air, rocks and soil, and life forms make up our planet and recognise that these are also Earth’s resources.

Learning focus

Students identify data that were gathered and why this was important.

Learning activity

Watch the video on the Science Learning Hub

Adapting the resource

Before the students watch the video ask them why scientists might want to quickly find out about marine life in the area where the ship was grounded. [They wanted base line data so they could get a sense of consequences of the oil spill to the ecosystem.]

Ask the students to pay attention while they watch the video to the types of data that were collected. [Photographs and video, samples of sea life, general descriptions and notes including records of key species present and their distribution.]

What’s important here?

This resource provides an opportunity for students to apply their developing understandings of science (how data are gathered, interpreted and used) to a real life context. Students need to be ready, willing and able to do this if they are to become scientifically literate, i.e., to participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society in which science plays a significant role. This is the purpose of science in NZC.

What are we looking for?

Do students realise what counts as data?

Do they realise the importance of base line data?

Do they have a sense of how data are collected and sampling techniques?

Are they aware of how science can help inform our actions when trying to protect the environment?

Opportunities to learn at different curriculum levels

For suggestions about adapting tasks in ways that allow students to show progress in engaging with science see  Progressions .

Exploring further

This sort of discussion could accompany any video, article or presentation about how scientists work.

Other resources for this capability

Yucky bugs (L1, 2, 3 & 4) Video from DOC website 

Staying Alive (L2) Connected 2, 2012

Hukanui Enviroschool (L2, 3 & 4) Connected 3, 2002

The Shell Collector (L2, 3 & 4) Connected 1, 2005

Rocky shore food web (LW2015) (L3 & 4) Assessment Resource Banks

Tidal Communities: Interdependence and the Effects of Change (L3 & 4) Building Science Concepts, Book 22

Science Fairs (L3 & 4) No specific resource

Solving the dog death mystery (L5) Science Learning Hub

The Gene Seekers (L5) Applications, 2001

What’s my carbon footprint? (L5) Genesis Energy resource

Biomagnets (L5 & 6) NCEA Level 1 assessment exemplars

Key words

Science Learning Hub, environment