Newsletter – November 2015
The Biotech and Science Learning Hubs make science and technology engaging and accessible. Combine the Hubs resources to create a rich variety of learning experiences in the classroom. Check out our mussel resources as an example of integration across the Hubs.
Mussels – more than just tasty kaimoana
Green-lipped mussels are New Zealand’s most important farmed marine organism. As a foodstuff, they are worth over $200 million annually. Mussels used in biopharmaceuticals bring in an extra $40 million each year.
But mussels are more than export earners. They play an important role within the marine ecosystem. Mussels are filter feeders – one mussel can clean up to 350 litres of seawater daily. Mussel beds also provide a habitat for other sea creatures.
Combining the power of the Hubs
Try combining resources from across the Hubs. For example, the Biotech Learning Hub’s focus story Farming green-lipped mussels has information sheets and videos on the mussel industry and biocontrol strategies to limit pea-crab infestations. The Science Learning Hub explores mussels and their ecosystem services.
Great experiments in the September BLH newsletter – I’m especially keen to adapt the mussels experiment for a year 11 biology investigation.
Biotech or biology: student investigations using mussels
Investigating pea crabs in supermarket mussels is a great activity for either biotech or biology classes. Students use supermarket mussels to collect and analyse data in six key areas. The activity calls for 100 mussels – approximately $15.00 – or you can use wild mussels instead.
Alternatively, check out high school student Yasmine Dai’s investigation into the filtering ability of green-lipped mussels and try it out yourselves.
We’d love to hear how you’re using Hub resources in the classroom. Please email email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch.
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The Biotechnology Learning Hub team
- 12 November 2015