Broadcast live on:

Tuesday 10 Nov 2020
  • free
  • 45 mins
  • 11-14
This live broadcast has ended and is available to watch on catch up.

Free - STEM clubs / ages 11-14 | Life cycles and baby coral

Students will meet Dr Kristen Marhaver, a marine biologist at the CARMABI research station, and an expert on coral reproduction. Kristen will introduce students to the different stages of the coral life cycle from spawning to a multi-polyp animal. Kristen will bring different specimens from her laboratory to share, and perhaps students will see her feeding some of the baby corals.

Curriculum links
  • Understand the work of a marine biologist
  • Compare the life cycle and reproduction of coral to animals in the local habitat
  • Explore how science works

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 a one-off Coral Live prep lesson, you can also make use of the Coral Oceans 11-14 Science unit of work.

This lesson asks students to think about comparing the life cycle of a coral to life cycles of animals in students’ local environment, and it would be useful if students have covered this already in some way before the lesson.

You can find some background information about Kristen on her website. It is quite high level, but is great for teachers and parents as background reading and viewing.

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

Session steps

1. Introduction (5 mins)
Jamie will open the live lesson with a welcome and introduction to Coral Live and the CARMABI research station, as well as giving shout outs to students and schools.

2. Meet Kristen (5 mins)
Students get to know Kristen and her research, as well as a sense of the work of a marine biologist.

3. Subject Knowledge (10 mins)
Using examples from her lab, Kirsten will explain the life cycle of a coral and some of the similarities and differences with animals that may be more familiar to students watching.

4. Feeding baby corals (10 mins)
Corals are amazing animals, reproducing both sexually and asexually and feeding with their tentacles and receiving energy from algae living in their tissue. Kristen will show, under a microscope and UV light, how a coral polyp feeds.

5. Q&A (15 mins)
Kristen will answer as many questions from students as possible about both coral and life as a scientist.


Coral Live 2018 Kristen Marhaver

Dr Kristen Marhaver

Marine Biologist, CARMABI

Coral Live 2018 Jamie Buchanan Dunlop

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop

Executive Director, Encounter Edu

Brought to you by

STEAM Activities age bookmark-fill icon bookmark boy-girl broadcast icon calendar chevron-down icon close icon compass cross icon download external icon facebook gallery icon instagram icon Instagram icon linkedin links icon live-lessons icon location mail icon map next play previous professional-development right-arrow icon search share single image social-media speaker spinner icon students subject-update teacher-resources tick icon time twitter user video-lesson video youtube