Our Big Blue Backyard – Student Learning and the Bay


Following on from our Teacher Environment Network workshop on ‘Our Big Blue Backyard: Student Learning and the Bay’ we have compiled a range of free learning resources for you to explore. These include videos, films, citizen science auditing tools, units of study and lesson plans. We have also linked a copy of the presentations from our speakers; Neil Blake (OAM) ‘Baykeeper Program’, Albert Park College’s presentation on their ‘Environmental Inquiry and Bay Fieldwork’ and Beaumaris Primary School’s ‘Drains2Bay Project’.

Video resources

We have a range of wonderful short videos (3-5 mins) that are an excellent resource for tuning students into the subject of Port Phillip Bay. You can explore these on our EcoCentre TV Youtube channel

Baykeeper Program videos

A Time of Chaos (All ages)
Humans have long been entrusted to protect Nairm (Port Phillip Bay). N’arweet Carolyn Briggs, Boon Wurrung Elder, shares the Time of Chaos story which tells how Nairm was formed and why we must continue to protect it. 

Beauty of our Bay (Grades 3-12)
There are more endemic species in the Bay than there are in the Great Barrier Reef. 

How plastics choke wildlife (Grades 3-12)
After hearing about expansive amounts of plastic waste in every ocean, Port Phillip Baykeeper Neil Blake discovers the sands of his local beaches are also insidiously turning into a kind of micro-plastic confetti. In his journey to measure just how far plastics have invaded the bay, Blake finds his community is eager to help before its diverse ecology is lost. 

Microplastics in the Bay (Grades 3-12)
Learn about the challenge of microplastics, what they are and where they come from, and what the community is trying to do to understand and address the problem. 

Other videos:

A Little Bit of Litter Rap Song (Primary)
Watch as MOOP Patrol and Nicole Joy take on MC Guttermouth and clean up his act.

The Majestic Plastic Bag (Primary and Secondary)
A mockumentary film documenting the life cycle of a plastic bag on its migration to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This film was part of a key campaign to ban plastic bags in California. 

Online Snorkelling
A taster of our Online Snorkelling incursion with EcoCentre marine scientist Ben. Come for a deep virtual dive into the Bay and discover what colourful creatures are found below!

This program is also available as an online student incursion where we can tailor the session to the student’s interests, curiosities and questions. 


Melbourne Down Under
See the colours and the spectacular biodiversity of Port Phillip Bay come to life. You’ll meet charismatic marine mammals, deadly jet-powered predators and witness remarkable feeding behaviours that have not been filmed before. 

Auditing Activities

Baykeeper Tools (Grade 5-12)
Learn about and contribute to the data collected that helped form the Clean Bay Blue Print Report.Visit our Baykeeper Program website and scroll down to the section on Baykeeper Resources to find the following auditing activities:

Waste and Litter at School

The state government’s ResourceSmart Schools Program provides fully-funded access to an online platform for monitoring resource use at school, with expert facilitator support from environmental educators. Below is a link to their website where you can register for the program and also access free waste and litter audit tools with support for developing a school Waste Action Plan: 


Lesson Plans and Units of Study

Polperro Dolphin – Canopy of Care – Geography Curriculum Resources (Secondary)                        *Please note – we will be sharing the updated Canopy of Care resources soon!

The Canopy of Care aims to provide educational resources and experiences that provide information about key environmental issues, particularly those that are facing our coast and waterways, and most importantly provide inspiration and support for our young adults to take action at a community level.

These resources are linked to the Biology, Geography and Outdoor and Environmental Education curriculums.  Fieldwork activities for Port Phillip Bay and sections of the Mornington Peninsula coastline that schools can use during their visits. 

Great Barrier Reef Curriculum activity (CERES) (Grade 5-8)
In this activity, students will learn about one of the threats to the ongoing health and survival of the Great Barrier reef – decreasing water quality. They will review information from various sources and interpret catchment data from a map.Students will investigate the potential impact to water quality of the reef of the proposed Adani coal mine development and develop an article or campaign showing their understanding of the issue.                                                               

Cool Australia – Ocean Conservation
A range of free lesson plans and activities for various year levels on the subject of ocean conservation. 

EcoCentre Excursions and Incursions

The EcoCentre offers a diverse range of engaging hands-on activities within two main themes, ‘Marine EcoSystems and Port Phillip Bay’ and ‘Urban Biodiversity and Sustainable Living’. We also have a range of online incursions including Online Snorkelling and Sharks and Rays of Port Phillip Bay. You can explore our educational programs here.

TEN Presenters

Beaumaris Primary School’s ‘Drains2Bay Project’
A sustainability project at Beaumaris Primary School in conjunction with Bayside Council and Citywide to educate the community about litter making its way through the drain system to Port Phillip Bay.       You can view the students’ video here. 

Albert Park College ‘Environmental Inquiry’
A copy of Albert Park College’s presentation exploring the design, implementation and outcomes of their Environmental Inquiry Unit which incorporated weekly fieldwork at the bay.  You can view Albert Park College’s presentation here. 

Neil Blake (0AM) Baykeeper – Schools2Bay

View Neil’s presentation on the Baykeeper Program and the scientific methods and tools that students can use to learn about the ways data has been collected to assess the volume and type of litter flowing out to the Bay. You can view Neil’s presentation here

Carbon Neutral Schools – Waru Waru Sustainable Schools Alliance
At our Term 1 TEN, we heard from teachers, parents and students who form part of the Waru Waru Sustainable Schools Alliance. This alliance between Albert Park Kinder, Albert Park Primary School and Albert Park College, with the support of the City of Port Phillip, are on a journey to becoming the first carbon neutral […]
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TEN Hands-on Biodiversity - blog
Hands-on Biodiversity at Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve
At our Term 2 TEN, 2022 we visited the Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve. Once a public golf course, the park is now being transformed into a unique reserve for wildlife, creating a biodiversity refuge for exploration, education and enjoyment by the community! The session included a guided walk through the reserve with local naturalist, educator […]
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The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukit Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional custodians of the land on which we are located.

We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other First Nations and Elder members of our multicultural community.