Hands-on learning about coastal areas for high school students

Our secondary school CoastEd programs are ideal for students from Year 7 to Year 12. Our accurate and up to date information delivered during our sessions are based on the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management's research and through our parnership with the City of Gold Coast. We can visit your school or group or you can meet us in the field. If logistics are an issue, we can help you organising this too.

If you’d like more details on any of our CoastEd programs below, call (07) 5552 8823 or email coasted@griffith.edu.au

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Coastal management

MANAGING OUR COASTLINE AND COASTAL PROCESSES (INCURSION AND EXCURSION)

Key themes: Coastal processes, shoreline management, beach ecology and coastal environments, history of Gold Coast beaches.

Through an interactive presentation at your school or local beach, students are introduced to the natural processes that shape our coast. Longshore drift is visually explained and our CoastEd representative will highlight the history of the Gold Coast beaches and what coastal management techniques are in place to mitigate natural processes such as erosion. Depending on the choice of your excursion location, coastal management techniques will be highlighted such as sand bypass systems, beach nourishment and dredging.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here.

Managing our coastline and Coastal processes: Curriculum guide

SEA CHANGE: AN INTERACTIVE COASTAL MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE (INCURCION/EXCURSION)

Key themes: coastal management, disaster management, team building, board games

The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management’s Sea Change challenge will have participants work in teams to decide which coastal management practise is best to take in a changing environment, considering different stakeholder groups, population growth, climate change, weather events, erosion and storm tides. Using scientific data gathered since the establishment of the Centre in 1999, disaster scenarios are presented to the participants in a number of rounds, after which they need to take management action.

The challenge can be delivered inside or outside the classroom to any number of students. It will take into account real life scenarios, future weather events and uncertainties that come with coastal management planning. Participants will also learn about the range of management techniques available in decision making.

SCIENCE OF THE SURF: ALL ABOUT WAVES (INCURSION AND EXCURSION)

Key themes: Wave action, coastal processes, coastal management, economy, tourism.

This session focuses on waves: how they form, where they come from, what makes them break, and what constitutes safe and dangerous waves. During an excursion, students aim to identify types of waves, rip currents and how waves affect the shape of our coastline. The CoastEd representative will also talk about coastal management techniques that deal with wave action and how healthy waves are important for the Gold Coast economy. The program also focuses on the Gold Coast council’s surf management plan.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Science of the Surf: Curriculum guide

STUDIES IN SAND (INCURSION)

Key themes: Geology, use of microscopes, identification techniques and coastal processes.

This incursion or excursion focuses entirely on sand. Students will learn about the origin of sand, what it is and how it ended up on the beach. Students will split into groups and receive their own sand sample. They can look at sand through microscopes and complete a sand studies sheet with tasks and questions including sieving and weighing sand.

The students are introduced to sand from different parts of Australia and around the world, and learn about why there are such differences in sizes of sand grains, colours and shapes. The session concludes with students delivering a presentation about their sand sample and find out where their sand sample originated.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Studies in Sand: Curriculum guide

BUILD A BEACH (INCURSION)

Key themes: beach health, dune vegetation, coastal protection, tourism and recreation.

The Gold Coast is renowned for its beautiful white sandy beaches, which support our coastal lifestyle, tourism and flora and fauna. In this program, students receive an introduction to the three important indicators for a healthy beach. They will undertake three different activities using kinetic sand, field guides, and clay, where they will need to create an ideal beach taking coastal protection, ecology and tourism into account. This hands-on activity strongly focuses on STEM skills and creates a fun and challenging competition between the students. All equipment and resources will be provided for this session. For an additional $35, we can include a coastal-themed prize pack valued at $50 for the winning class team, comprising pocket field guides, posters, postcards and more.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Build a beach: Curriculum guide

MONETARY VALUE OF BEACHES (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Economics, tourism, value of beaches, surveys.

This excursion teaches students how to view beaches from an economical perspective, taking in the costs involved to maintain them as well as the monetary and non-monetary value they provide for the community. Students undertake a brief survey to estimate the value of the beach at the excursion location, taking into account factors such as beach visitation, tourism and beach management.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Monetary value of beaches: Curriculum guide

HOW TO MEASURE THE HEALTH OF A BEACH (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Beach health, indicators, survey, coastal management.

Griffith Centre for Coastal Management has recently conducted a study to measure indicators quantifying beach health. The study forms the foundation of this excursion, in which students will receive an introduction to beach health and a brief presentation on coastal processes/coastal management before assessing a selection of beaches. Factors such as economic, natural and recreational health will all be taken into account and will promote discussion between students.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

How to measure the health of a beach: Curriculum guide

TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT ON GOLD COAST BEACHES (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Tourism, coastal management, Gold Coast history, sustainability, economics.

This session concentrates on how beaches impact Gold Coast tourism. The CoastEd facilitator will cover the history of Gold Coast tourism and its influence on coastal management, development and infrastructure. Students will also learn how coastal engineering has supported tourism development. Students will undertake a SWOT analysis of the beach with regards to tourism, and will discuss sustainability and economic growth.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Tourism and development on Gold Coast beaches: Curriculum guide

SPOTLIGHT ON PALM BEACH (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Coastal processes, shoreline management, beach ecology and coastal environments, history of Gold Coast beaches, Palm Beach.

Our Spotlight sessions are interactive presentations that introduce students to natural processes shaping our coast. Our CoastEd representatives highlight the history of the Gold Coast beaches plus explain longshore drift and coastal management techniques in place to mitigate natural processes. The session focuses on erosion issues at Palm Beach and the coastal management practices for the area, including beach nourishment.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Spotlight on Palm Beach: Curriculum guide

SPOTLIGHT ON BURLEIGH BEACH (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Coastal processes, shoreline management, beach ecology and coastal environments, history of Gold Coast beaches, Burleigh.

Our Spotlight sessions are interactive presentations that introduce students to natural processes shaping our coast. Our CoastEd representatives highlight the history of the Gold Coast beaches plus explain longshore drift and coastal management techniques in place to mitigate natural processes such as erosion. This session focuses on the coastal management practices at Burleigh, including beach nourishment and dredging.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Spotlight on Burleigh Beach: Curriculum guide

SPOTLIGHT ON KIRRA (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Coastal processes, shoreline management, beach ecology and coastal environments, history of Gold Coast beaches, Kirra.

Our Spotlight sessions are interactive presentations that introduce students to natural processes shaping our coast. Our CoastEd representatives highlight the history of the Gold Coast beaches plus explain longshore drift and coastal management techniques in place to mitigate natural processes such as erosion. This session focuses on the coastal management practices at Kirra, such as groynes. The session also explores overcoming issues with the surfing communities with regards to these practices.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Spotlight on Kirra: Curriculum guide

SPOTLIGHT ON THE SPIT (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Coastal processes, shoreline management, beach ecology and coastal environments, history of Gold Coast beaches, Seaway.

Our Spotlight sessions are interactive presentations that introduce students to natural processes shaping our coast. Our CoastEd representatives highlight the history of the Gold Coast beaches plus explain longshore drift and coastal management techniques in place to mitigate natural processes such as erosion. This session focuses on The Spit and Broadwater, and the coastal management techniques at this location, such as sand pumping. The session also explores community consultation in regards to these practices. Students have the option to visit the control room of the sand bypassing system to gain a visual understanding of how the system works.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Spotlight on the Spit: Curriculum guide

Coastal ecosystems

BEACHCARE (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Dunes, coastal processes, revegetation, native plants, planting.

This session focuses on natural dune vegetation and caring for our dunes. Our CoastEd representative will introduce the importance of natural dunes with regards to coastal protection, as well as the history of Gold Coast dunes and work being done to restore them. The session concludes with planting native dune vegetation to assist the regeneration of the area, allowing active involvement in revegetation of local dunes and harbouring  environmental stewardship. Sessions take place at one of our 10 BeachCare sites, with a preference to hold the session on a Thursday or Friday. The session may incur a cost to buy the plants.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

BeachCare: Curriculum guide

FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: MANGROVES (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Mangroves, adaptations, flora, fauna, shoreline protection, biology, climate change, sustaining biodiversity, primary data collection.

This session introduces students to the role of mangrove ecosystems in shoreline protection. The CoastEd facilitator will explain mangrove tree adaptations, species of mangrove flora and fauna, and conservation strategies. Students will be conducting species identification and ph testing.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Fragile ecosystems: Mangroves: Curriculum guide

FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: ROCKY SHORES (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Rocky shores, adaptations, flora, fauna, shoreline protection, biology, sustaining biodiversity

Rocky shore environments are full of life. They also play a major role in coastal protection. This session focuses on adaptations of flora and fauna in rocky shore environments, which are exposed to strong wave action, tides and heat. The CoastEd facilitator will introduce some of the marine wildlife in this area and talk about their adaptations and talk about natural and engineered shoreline protection. Students will be conducting species identification and quadrant surveys.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Fragile ecosystems: Rocky shores: Curriculum guide

FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: DUNES (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Dunes, plant identification, shoreline protection, coastal processes, primary data collection.

Dunes are critical to the health of our beaches. This session focuses on dune formation and vegetation, and how dunes protect our shorelines. Students will learn how to identify native vegetation and discover the history of Gold Coast dune environments. Students will be working with line transects and quadrants.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Fragile ecosystems: Dunes: Curriculum guide

Climate change

CLIMATE CHANGE AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE GOLD COAST (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Climate change, primary data collection, beach profiling, coastal management.

This session focuses on the effects of climate change on our coastline. Students will learn how climate change has been a constant variable throughout the earth’s history, how humans have influenced climate change and how this impacts environments and communities around the world. For the excursion, students will undertake their own primary data collection through beach profiling to determine how the sea rising one meter would affect the beach and foreshore. Students will also investigate how king and spring tides, combined with rising sea levels, would impact the coastline. Students will also discover how council management programs, such as sand pumping, beach nourishment and dune revegetation, to help prevent erosion and protect infrastructure.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Climate change: Curriculum guide

CYCLONES AND STORM TIDE RISK ASSESSMENT IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (EXCURSION)

Key themes: Coastal hazard management, weather, cyclones, storm tides, wind speed.

Through this interactive presentation at Griffith University, students learn about coastal planning with regards to cyclones and storm tides. Students are introduced to a computer model that allows for real-time storm risk assessment in emergency management for the Queensland coastline. The students will use the computer model to visualise differences in intensity of various categories of cyclones and learn how to identify areas to evacuate in the case of a severe cyclone.

More information about QLD Syllabus links can be found here

Cyclones and storm tides: Curriculum guide

Connect with us

If you’d like more details on CoastEd, call (07) 5552 8823 or email coasted@griffith.edu.au