Sam the Seadragon

Online Incursions: Saving Sam the Seadragon

Program Summary

Location: Online
Excursion Duration: 45 mins
Year Level: Primary
Group Size: 20-50
Cost: $110 +GST for up to 50 students

Program Themes: Seadragon, marine life, Port Phillip, plankton, plastic, scientific method, experiment


Program Overview

This session introduces students to Victorian marine habitats and wildlife and the threats posed to these systems by plastics. As Victoria’s marine emblem, the gracious weedy seadragon was happily surviving in Port Phillip Bay until plastic started to enter the ecosystem. Through hands-on activities students will learn about why plastics are amazing but when they get out of control they cause problems for our wildlife. 

Key Concepts & Questions

•    What sort of animals live in our local waters?
•    What sort of animal is a seadragon?
•    What do seadragons eat?
•    How do plastics threaten seadragons?
•    How can we prevent plastics causing harm to our marine wildlife?

Learning Outcomes

•    Marine organisms are adapted to live in specific habitats that provide food and shelter in different ways.
•    Seadragons are unique to our coastal waters and hold a special place in our cultural heritage.
•    Seadragons and other marine organisms are placed at risk by plastics that may entangle them or be mistaken for food by them.
•    A scientific approach can answer questions in ways that go beyond guesses or estimates.
•    Scientific methods are easy to apply to everyday situations.
•    Preventing plastics affecting our marine systems only requires that people use plastics responsibly. 

This session connects with the curriculum concerning:

•    F-2 Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)
•    3-4 Science knowledge helps people to understand the effects of their actions (VCSSU056)
•    5-6 Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)
•    5-6 The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075)

Program Outline

In this session students are introduced to the presenter and to the Sam Seadragon puppet. The students watch a short video about local marine life that highlights the variety of habitats in our waters and the species adapted to live in those habitats. 

The students watch a demonstration of the Sam Seadragon puppet feeding and failing to distinguish between plankton and plastics, and then getting tangled up in a plastic bag. Students listen to a short story about seals entangled in fishing line.

Students engage in a brief experiment to determine whether or not their lack of thumbs is the reason more seals are entangled in plastic fishing lines than humans. Students assess the data and discuss how to prevent more marine life getting tangled in or eating plastic.


This incursion is delivered online using Zoom. A teacher and class can join the session from the classroom or remotely from home. A meeting link and instructions will be sent out with the booking confirmation. Minimum group size is 20, maximum group size is 50.

Please book your incursion at least 7 days in advance - we are unable to accept last-minute bookings.

This incursion is free, thanks to generous support from the Port Phillip Bay Fund.


Please email with subject "Online incursion enquiry", with:
1) Incursion Topic(s),
2) Three preferred dates and times
3) Number of classes for each topic (a class is up to 25 students)?
4) Year level of the students
5) Contact name, school/organisation and phone number

Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.