21 Day Challenge 2023 Term 3

A thriving ocean for future generations

This 21 Day Challenge has ended. Thanks a lot for being a part of it!

You can still browse the schools and classrooms that participated and see their uploads and how much plastic they picked up!
Just head to the Browse tab and click on a school in the map or classroom in the leaderboard!

Registration Instruction

Support us by getting the word out!

Tell your friends, family, and teachers about this initiative so we can get more people on board. Copy the link to share:

Copy link to clipboard

21 Day Challenge 2023 Term 3

A thriving ocean for future generations

What is the 21 Day Challenge?

Young Ocean Explorers 21 day challenge is an integrated curriculum teaching resource that links to the New Zealand Curriculum at levels 1–4, but can be adapted for use at various levels. It has been developed for primary school students and teachers (years 1–8). It can be used as part of a guided  inquiry process.It contains teaching and learning material to support a unit of work that is grounded in Environmental Education for Sustainability (EEfS) / Conservation education themes, links to the Aotearoa NZ Histories curriculum, and incorporates aspects of Te Ao Māori (a Māori worldview).


Curriculum Areas

  • Science - engaging with science, data gathering, use evidence, critique evidence, interpreting data.
  • Te Ao Māori - te reo (language), tikanga (Customs and traditional values).
  • Digital Curriculum - designing and developing digital outcomes.
  • Maths - data gathering, graphing, number, measurement, statistics.
  • English - oral language, writing, reading.
  • The Arts - performing arts, music.
  • Health - ”Attitudes and values – a positive, responsible attitude on the part of students to their own well-being; respect, care, and concern for other people and the environment; and a sense of social justice.”
  • Social Sciences - gaining knowledge, skills and experience to “understand how places influence people and people influence places.”
  • Education for sustainability - “Education for sustainability is about learning to think and act in ways that will safeguard the future wellbeing of people and our planet. Students taking informed action to address issues of sustainability and participate in creating a sustainable future is the core of education for sustainability.”

The Teacher site has everything teachers need - a link to the lesson plan overview, and a link to the student site. There is also a daily link to each lesson plan which they will get access to as the challenge progresses.

Lesson plans

Day 1: Welcome to the Hauraki Gulf
Day 2: Tohorā - Whales
Day 3: Our journey to Aotearoa
Day 4: Kaitiakitanga
Day 5: Aihe - Dolphins
Day 6: Rimurimu - Seaweed
Day 7: Ngā Manu o te Moana - Seabirds
Day 8: Marine Reserves
Day 9: Food Chains
Day 10: Honu - Turtles
Day 11: Mussels - Kūtai Filter Feeders
Day 12: Whai Rahi - Manta Rays
Day 13: The Rocky Shore
Day 14: Orca - Maki Kākahi
Day 15: Human connections with the Ocean
Day 16: Whai - Rays
Day 17: Ika - Fish of the Hauraki Gulf
Day 18: Looking Back - Looking Forward
Day 19: Estuaries
Day 20: Māngo - Sharks
Day 21: What can I do?

“… thanks so much for the 21 Day Challenge- the resources were fantastic and our teachers and kids really enjoyed the unit.”

- Teacher

“We have watched most of the Young Ocean Explorer videos and enjoyed doing the one plus a day. We also tried the mussel filtering experiment. We love doing your tasks and we are excited to learn more.”

- Students

“Thanks for all the amazing resources and for inspiring the Kaitiaki in us. Love your work!”

- Teacher

“You’re inspirational - keeping us all on track protecting our oceans! Thank you so much!”

- Teacher

“ This is an unique opportunity for learners to engage with scientists, experts and each other, while at the same time helping and learning more about our marine environment ... What a great model for learning”

- Jill Corkin, MNZM – Retired Principal & Past President of Auckland Primary Principal’s Association.