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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.

Tim (teacher)

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.

Contact us

We’d love to hear how you’re using Hub resources in the classroom. Please email enquiries@biotechlearn.org.nz, and we’ll be in touch.

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Best wishes
The Biotechnology Learning Hub team


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