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  • This article recounts the conversation between Tane, his dad and the scientists they find testing the health of their local river. It looks at the information gathered by the scientists and how it can be used to make decisions about the river.

    Rights: Illustration by Scott Pearson, Crown copyright 2017

    Connected article: Testing the waters

    An article in the 2017 level 3 Connected journal ‘Mahi tahi’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Freshwater pollution is an important socio-scientific issue in New Zealand, and this article provides an introduction to the some of the key science ideas and language associated with cleaning up our rivers and lakes.

    Check your school resource area for the article from the 2017 level 3 Connected journal ‘Mahi tahi, download it as a google slide presentation from Tāhūrangi or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: Crown copyright 2017

    2017 Connected level 3: Mahi tahi

    The cover of the 2017 level 3 Connected journal ‘Mahi tahi’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the articles ‘Testing the waters’, ‘Captured in ice’ and ‘Building for the future’.

    Background image © Nancy Bertler.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi (Word and PDF files are available). These materials focus on the science capability ‘Engage with science’, and the article content supports the science capability ‘Gather and interpret data’. Activity suggestions support students to investigate water quality, macroinvertebrates and catchments.

    Literacy strategies provide support for unpacking the graphic representations, and there are many additional resource links provided.

    Related content

    The Science Learning Hub has a collection of resources looking at environmental monitoring.

    The article Human impact on rivers highlights key areas we influence in river ecosystems, and the activity Saving taonga supports students to think about these changes on species such as whitebait and eels.

    Understanding kaitiakitanga explores a Māori view of the world around us.

    The 2014 Connected article Counting kākahi tells the story of a freshwater scientist investigating black mussels in our lakes and rivers.

    The activity Monitoring stream health and the interactive Stream health monitoring and assessment provide step-by-step instructions, protocols, recording sheets and how-to videos for monitoring stream health.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful link

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Please note that access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 20 December 2018 Referencing Hub articles
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