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Awabakal Environmental Education Centre

Awabakal Environmental Education Centre

Discover - Investigate - Learn

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Investigating science (Redhead Beach)

Stage 6

Direct observations of the effects of plastics upon the marine environment has led to inferences about their harmful effects. The AUSMAP (Australian Microplastics Assessment Project) has been instigated from these observations. This Citizen Science program aims to observe, measure, record and analyse data to inform and create solutions to microplastic pollution. Students participate in this project to investigate microplastics following the AUSMAP methodology. The accompanying resources include opportunities to plan the investigation, analyse and draw conclusions from the data collected and address the inquiry questions in Module 1. This program may be used as part of a depth study.

Prior to the excursion students can plan an investigation around the following questions:

  • How much microplastics and marine debris are on the shoreline?
  • What types of micro-plastics and marine debris are present?
  • Where might this micro-plastics/debris come from?


On the day students conduct their practical investigation that include:

  • Collection of qualitative data on the study location (including weather, shoreline, riparian zone and human influences).
  • Use of a transect and quadrat to collect data.
  • Collection of quantitative data through conducting a macro litter survey.
  • Collection of primary data through conducting a microplastic survey.
  • Classification of microplastics into size classes, colour and plastic types.
  • The opportunity to compare the amount and types of microplastics at two locations depending on group size.


Post excursion students have the potential to draw conclusions from the interpretation of data.


For further information on curriculum links, program and excursion information see below or contact us.


Further Information