Activity Introduction

blue_fish-net-catch_untitled_1-171-1-edit_photoframeQuick summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. Students will take on the role of a data scientist to understand what has been happening in Australia’s fishing industry over time. Using a large data set, students organise and analyse Australian Government data. This lesson brings together real world data, statistical analysis, and meaningful problem solving. Students use these elements to make recommendations to the Australian fishing industry in order to conserve our oceans.

blue-white-logo-120pxBlue is a feature documentary film charting the drastic decline in the health of our oceans. With more than half of all marine life lost and the expansion of the industrialization of the seas, the film sets out the challenges we are facing and the opportunities for positive change. Blue changes the way we think about our liquid world and inspires the audience to action. Find out how to screen or download the film here. Along with the film is an ambitious global campaign to create advocacy and behaviour change through the #oceanguardian movement. To become an ocean guardian, see the website.

Learning intention:

  • Students will be able to organise and analyse a large data set in order to draw conclusions about the fishing industry in Australia.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 10 Mathematics

  • Investigate and describe bivariate numerical data where the independent variable is time (ACMSP252).

Syllabus outcomes: MA5.2-1WM, MA5.2-3WM, MA5.2-16SP.

General capabilities: ICT Capability, Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Mathematics achievement standards: Students describe bivariate data where the independent variable is time. They describe statistical relationships between two continuous variables. Students evaluate statistical reports.

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Water.

Unit of work: Blue The Film – Mathematics – Year 7 – 10. 

Time required: 80 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and lead students in discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a clip to the class. Annual Logbook Catch-Data – student and teacher access (note: Microsoft Excel, not Google docs, is required). You will need to project this onto a screen. Student access to laptops/desktop computers with Microsoft Excel

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, fishing, unsustainable fishing, data set, statistics.

Cool Australia and Northern Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of GoodPitch² AustraliaShark Island InstituteDocumentary Australia FoundationThe Caledonia Foundation and Screen Australia in the development of these teaching resources.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

© 2017 Northern Pictures and Cool Australia


Teacher Worksheet


Teacher Preparation 

Learning intention: Students will be able to organise and analyse a large data set in order to draw conclusions about the fishing industry in Australia.

Success criteria: Students will...

  • Be able to use Microsoft Excel to organise a large data set.
  • Be able to describe bivariate data presented in a table or graph.
  • Be able to use data to draw conclusions about a societal issue.


Teacher content information: From space, our planet appears as a tiny blue dot in the vastness of the universe. No matter where you live on our blue planet – you’re connected to the sea.

But the seas are under threat. The industrialisation that has occurred in the oceans over the last century mirrors the events that triggered mass extinctions on land. Industrial scale fishing, habitat destruction, species loss and pollution have placed the ocean in peril. The very nature of the sea is being irretrievably altered.

By international standards, Australia is a marine conservation

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How can data scientists help protect our oceans?

Introduction to Data

What is happening in Australia’s fishing industry? As a data scientist, your role is to understand how the fishing industry is changing over time. Importantly, you will be using your data analysis to make recommendations for reducing harmful fishing practices.

In order to understand and make conclusions about a data set, data needs to be carefully organised. To do this, using the steps below you will create a table and graph in Microsoft Excel.

1. Open up ‘Annual Logbook Catch-Data’ to the Data tab.


2. In the Insert ribbon at the top, click on Pivot Table. In the window that pops up, select OK.


3. In the Pivot Table Fields window on the right:

  • Click and drag Gear to the Rows box
  • Click and drag Year to the Columns box
  • Click and drag Retained Catch (Kg) to the Values box

You have now set up a Pivot Table. Write a heading for your table in cell A1.


4. Now, go back to the data set

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