'The Hauraki Gulf' - 21 Day Challenge Term 1 2024

1st March - 12th April 2024

We are so excited to introduce your students to Aotearoa New Zealand's unique and inspiring underwater world. Inspirational Young Ocean Explorer Riley Hathaway, and her father Steve, will take you above and below the glistening waters of the Hauraki Gulf to meet all the amazing species and their habitats, learn about the challenges the Gulf is facing, and be inspired by the amazing people making it a better place.

83 Days until the challenge starts on 1 Mar 2024!


This 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. To date over 2500 classrooms have signed up to the challenge across 5 different editions. In Term 1 2024 we are bringing the focus back on New Zealand's first marine park, the Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana Te Moananui-ā-Toi.


  • 21 lesson plans for you to choose from, to take the planning work out of Term 1 (see example lesson below)
  • Highly engaged students, with lessons focussed around the beautiful creatures of the Gulf, their habitat, the issues facing our ocean, stories of people who are making a difference and much more!
  • The ability for you to do one or all the lessons! Each lesson will need about 60 mins - kaiako (teachers) can pick and choose to suit the time available, and there are many ideas for extension to delve deeper. Each lesson can be integrated across curriculum areas.
  • Students participating in the daily plastic pick-up challenge, with the ability to track how they are going against classes across the country


  • To encourage an increased knowledge of Aotearoa’s precious waterways - moana, awa, roto (ocean, rivers, lakes) and how they are linked.
  • To build an understanding of the importance of these waterways to many people in various ways, and the importance for the creatures that live in and around those waterways.
  • To think about kaitiakitanga and caring for our local environment.

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'The Hauraki Gulf' - 21 Day Challenge Term 1 2024

1st March - 12th April 2024

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).

Example lesson plans

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.”

“… 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.