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Human impact on coral

In this live lesson, students will speak with a coral scientist about how human behaviour affects the coral ecosystem, and conduct two short investigations into how increased carbon dioxide levels are harming reefs.

Broadcast on Fri 12 Nov 2021
  • 45 mins
  • Ages 7-11, Ages 11-14
Learning Outcomes
  • Insight into the work of a marine scientist

  • Explore how human activity is affecting the reef

  • Understand how changes in the environment can harm individual organisms and cause entire species to go extinct


If you have never joined a live lesson before, see the guidance hub, where you will find technical and educational support.

Live lessons work best when students have some prior knowledge and have prepared questions. You can select from any of the STEAM activities in the Coral Oceans collection or teach the one-off Coral Live prep lesson.

This lesson is based around the Ocean acidification in a cup and Dissolving coral in vinegar activities and if your students are following live, you will need to gather these activity resources in advance.

Questions generated by your class can be submitted via the Encounter Live tab in your Encounter Edu profile.

Session outline

1. Introduction (5 mins)

Jamie will open the session with a welcome and brief introduction to the expedition.

2. Subject knowledge (15 mins)

Jamie will ask about how human activity is harming coral reefs and introduce students to some of the threats to the coral reef including coral bleaching, ocean acidification and coastal developments.

3. Activity (15 mins)

Jamie will begin demonstrating the two activities, Ocean acidification in a cup and Dissolving coral in vinegar. Students can follow along in real-time. During this time, you can submit your students’ questions via the Live chat.

4. Q&A (15 mins)

After completing the activity Jamie will answer some of the questions students have submitted before suggesting other Coral Live activities you might like to try.


Coral Live 2018 Jamie Buchanan Dunlop

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop

Executive Director, Encounter Edu

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