Shark Invasion Sydney Education Worksheet
Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary
EDUCATION DESCRIPTION: Shark Invasion Sydney
It's 2009 in Sydney, Australia, where three terrifying shark attacks in as many weeks cause a wave of primeval fear to sweep through the city's water-loving population. Are shark numbers simply increasing? Or are sharks becoming more aggressive towards humans? This documentary follows a specialist shark research? team, commissioned by the NSW state government in response to the attacks, as they conduct the most? comprehensive and technologically advanced study of sharks that’s ever been undertaken in ?Sydney’s waters. The team needs to find out if, in a city of nearly four and a half million people,? surrounded by much loved and used waterways, sharks and humans can safely co-exist.
TEACHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Located on Australia's east coast, Sydney's waterways offer hunting grounds to three potentially dangerous shark species. The coastline is the domain of great white sharks, which track deep water contours and are present year-round. The Harbour's entrance is tiger shark territory. Tiger sharks follow warm ocean currents inshore, and are found during the height of summer. Sydney's entire waterway is the realm of bull sharks, capable of existing in fresh and salt water, the only shark species adapted for both environments.
Shark Invasion tracks marine biologists and shark experts, Dr Amy Smoothey and Professor Vic Peddemors as they undertake the first scientific investigation of the shark inhabitants of Sydney's waterways.
To assess the level of danger sharks pose to water lovers, Vic and Amy want to catch, tag and track sharks through Sydney's vast waterways. Their primary goal is to determine how many and what kind of sharks use the harbour and to identify potential shark habitats around city.
The team captures, tags and releases 25 bull sharks in Sydney Harbour, lifting them out of the water with their bare hands. Fitting the sharks with internal tags, they release, then follow, the predator's movements through the city's waterways using an extensive underwater surveillance system, revealing some fascinating information. They also interview shark attack victims, shedding light on the species involved.
Junior Secondary Curriculum
The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop understandings about science and its processes, the scope of its contributions to our culture and society, and its applications in our daily lives. The science curriculum addresses the diverse needs of Australian students by providing them with scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed and responsible personal, social, technological and environmental decisions that impact at the local, national and global levels and to participate, if they so wish, in science-rich careers.
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale
Senior Secondary Curriculum
Building on students' science knowledge and skills acquired up to Year 10, the senior secondary Biology curriculum examines the development and latest applications of biological knowledge in ways which are relevant to students' everyday lives, and which enable them to solve problems and make evidence-based decisions related to present and future challenges.
Australian Biology Curriculum 2010: Rationale
In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will:
• Develop an interest in science and a curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions and speculate about the changing world in which they live
• Develop an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs.
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims
In undertaking these tasks, students of Biology will:
• Engage in communication of and about biology, value evidence and scepticism, and evaluate critically the scientific claims made by others
• Appreciate biology as both an independent and a collaborative human endeavor
• Develop in-depth knowledge, understanding, skills and scientific values relating to biology
• Appreciate the changing and expanding body of contemporary knowledge in biology.
Australian Biology Curriculum 2010: Aims
STUDENT LEARNING TASKS
In their investigation of sharks in Sydney's waterways, the research team limited their study to three target species. Write down the common names of these three types of shark, and explain in one sentence why these sharks were chosen. Then name five other types of sharks that are also found in the waters around Sydney.
The three target shark species have different habitats within Sydney's waterways. In about 50 words for each species, describe their chosen habitat and when the sharks are most frequently found there.
The shark scientists relied heavily on technology to assist with their study. Choose one of the items they used and write 150 words to explain what it is, how it works, and how it helped the scientists with their study.
Shark nets have been part of popular Australian beaches for some 70 years ago. Since then, large numbers of predatory sharks have drowned in the nets, along with protected species, including whales, turtles and dolphins. No one knows what impact the removal of so many sharks will have on the marine environment. Some people believe shark nets should be banned, while others think they are still required for safe swimming. Using appropriate language, write a letter of approximately 150 words to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Water and Heritage in which you state your opinion about shark nets and advise what action you think should be taken.
A keen surfer who is new to Australian waters has asked your advice about shark attacks. Write down your recommendations, remembering that humans can choose when and where to swim, while sharks have no choice but to inhabit a marine environment. Write about 200 words, including times, places and behaviour that are appropriate and inappropriate in waters known to be inhabited by sharks.
The shark investigators relied heavily on technology to help them with their study. Write down the different types of technology they used, then choose two of these and explain, in 100 words for each, what it is, how it works and how it assisted the scientists in their investigation.
In 150 words, compare and contrast the habitats of great white, tiger and bull sharks in Sydney's waterways.
Do some Internet research to find out the pros and cons of using shark nets. Make five bullet points for the advantages and five for the disadvantages, then write 100 words stating your opinion about shark nets and why.
In Shark Invasion, three shark attack victims were interviewed. Write 50 words about each of the attacks, explaining how they occurred and how they could have been avoided.
Write a 250-word summary of the first scientific investigation of sharks in Sydney's waterways. In your summary, include why the study was commissioned, its goal, the methodology, results and any recommendations that could be made.