The following resource has been inspired by marine instrumentation used onboard RV Investigator: a Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) - an effective device for collecting plankton samples. In this activity, students will learn how to collect and identify plankton species.

Build your own plankton net
Author

Callum Hollingsworth

Title

Build your own Plankton Net

Nature of the inquiry problem

This activity is designed for students to build and use their own plankton net to collect samples for further investigation. Depending on the year levels (see below) students will help develop investigations around the use of the plankton net. The plankton samples can then be used across a range of year levels depending on the learning objectives and outcomes (see below links).

About the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR):

One device used on board is called a Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR). The CPR is an effective device for collecting plankton samples and has changed very little since it was originally developed in the 1930s by Sir Alister Hardy. The device is lowered off the back of RV Investigator and dragged along behind the vessel.

As the CPR is towed plankton enters the front of the device and then becomes trapped in layers of silk. The silk is then wound onto a spool ready to be collected and analysed by scientists. Although a plankton net is quite different from the CPR device it acts on the same principles. Creating a filter for water to move through, trapping and leaving the plankton behind.

Suitable year levels and subject areas

This activity links to the national science curriculum for years 7 - 10

Curriculum links

Australian Curriculum – Science

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Science Inquiry Skills

Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125 - Scootle)

Science Inquiry Skills

Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS139 - Scootle )

Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140 - Scootle )

Measure and control variables, select equipment appropriate to the task and collect data with accuracy (ACSIS141 - Scootle)

Science Inquiry Skills

Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164 - Scootle)

Plan, select and use appropriate investigation types, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS165 - Scootle )

Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to collect and record data systematically and accurately (ACSIS166 - Scootle)

Science Inquiry Skills

Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS198 - Scootle)

Plan, select and use appropriate investigation types, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS199 - Scootle )

Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to collect and record data systematically and accurately (ACSIS200 - Scootle)

Science Understanding

Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms (ACSSU111 - Scootle)

Science Understanding

Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs carrying out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce (ACSSU150 - Scootle)

Science Understanding

Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176 - Scootle)

Science Understanding

The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence evaluating and interpreting evidence for evolution, including the fossil record, chemical and anatomical similarities, and geographical distribution of species (ACSSU185 - Scootle)

Learning Objectives

Students will learn how to collect plankton samples, and correctly classify plankton species; understanding reasons for collecting samples.

Student Learning Outcomes*

Students will know how to conduct a scientific investigation, specifically the process of collecting plankton

Format

Student Investigation

 Acknowledgment

© Build your own plankton net (created by Callum Hollingsworth) (2018). Copyright owned by Department for Education, Tasmania. Except as otherwise noted, this work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Download the lesson here

Build your own plankton net [pdf · 1mb]

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