The Living Reef

If you are passionate about understanding and protecting our Great Barrier Reef, this course will solidify and expand your biological sciences knowledge beyond the classroom into real-world environments through state-of-the-art research.

The best part is you can get an insight into what it's like to be a marine biologist without getting your feet wet!

On-demand resource package

This resource is part of the QUT STEM Engagement for High School online STEM Learning Hub of educational resources for students and teachers. It was inspired by, and encompasses, research undertaken by QUT researchers and The Cube's interactive Living Reef experience. This resource is an inter-disciplinary investigation of ecology, biology and mathematics and can be used in two ways:

  • as a self-guided resource for students interested in biology and marine biology
  • as a Teacher resource to embed in high school biology curriculum

Designed to be completed at your own pace, the content explores biodiversity through several virtual and simulated activities. It will also provide you with a guided fieldwork module.

For students: the package includes six different lessons, a dedicated Padlet, and a student activity booklet. You can record information, analyse findings, learn keywords and undertake quizzes to improve your knowledge.

For teachers: this resource can assist with resources for Junior Biology (Years 7 – 9), Year 10 Advanced Mathematics, Senior Biology (Unit 3) and Marine Biology (Unit 2). The resource utilising QUT research and the interactive Cube experience ‘The Living Reef’.

This has been co-designed with academic staff, teachers and Student Ambassadors who are studying this content in undergraduate degree courses at QUT.

Course content

Below is the outline of all six lessons.

  1. Natural Selection and Classification
  2. Exploring Biodiversity and Adaptations
  3. Exploring Population Density
  4. Surveying and Sampling Introduction
  5. Sampling Activity (Extension exercise)
  6. Relationships between Variables

For students in Year's 7 to 10 we recommend you focus on Lessons 1 and 2. To challenge yourself explore all six lessons. For students in Year's 11 and 12 we recommend exploring Lessons 4 - 6.


There are 6 lessons which are produced as 6 Powerpoints with audio information and transcripts. In addition,

For Students

  • Student Activity Booklet
  • Student Living Reef Padlet

For Teachers

  • Teacher resource booklet
  • Teacher answer booklet
  • Teacher Living Reef Padlet


Register below to receive the resource package.

Register here

Curriculum Links

Refer to the detailed curriculum links in the resource.

  • Year 7 Science
  • Year 9 Science
  • Year 10 Science
  • Year 10 Biology
  • Year 10 Advanced Mathematics
  • Senior Biology Unit 3
  • Marine Biology Unit 2

Contact us

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