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Secondary School Opportunities

Same, Same but Different: Classification and adaptation in the marine world




Students will investigate the fascinating world of marine invertebrates using both field and laboratory-based activities to explore adaptations in the marine environment. 

The workshop includes:
  • An introduction to the process of biological classification using representatives of one of the largest and most diverse of all the marine forms (phyla) – molluscs.
  • A guided dissection of two representative molluscs: a cephalopod and bivalve, to identify and examine the structural features that are unique to this phylum.
  • An examination of the structural differences between the two molluscs and how these relate to differences in ecological roles, habitats and lifestyles.
  • A discussion about dichotomous keys and their role in classifying living things.
  • A “Beach Habitat Quest” using ARIS games on an iPad to discover the different habitats that can exist at one beach and how marine animals have evolved specific traits and behaviours that enable them to adapt to these very different environments and often harsh conditions.
Outcomes addressed:

SC4 -14LW: relates the structure and function of living things to their classification, survival and reproduction.

SC4 -6WS: follows a sequence of instructions to safely undertake a range of investigation types, collaboratively and individually.


A minimum of 15 students and maximum of  25 applies for this workshop.

For more information about the program:

T: (02) 9435 4600
E: education@sims.org.au