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Prawns for profit - Teacher notes

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“Oh no! Not fractions!” The anxiety that students (and teachers) experience with this core mathematical topic prompted the editors to bring together research on the teaching and learning of fractions.

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Prawns for profit
















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Australia’s population is increasing, along with our demand for cooked prawns. Approximately 50% of prawns consumed in Australia are imported from countries such as China and Vietnam. Meanwhile the populations of prawns and other marine species in the wild are decreasing. CSIRO scientists have bred ‘the perfect prawn’ and developed a new plant-based prawn feed.

Prawns for profit - Teacher notes

The teacher notes contain: an overview of each of the activities; curriculum links and suggested year levels; background information; prompting questions and key mathematical points; practical suggestions for running the activity; a list of resources needed; and further ideas.

Activity 1: The perfect prawn

In this activity students consider what makes a perfect prawn in terms of its physical attributes. Using this knowledge they need to make decisions about purchasing prawns for a restaurant they are running in partnership. It is a great group activity that allows students to apply their knowledge of statistics with extensive use of spreadsheets and/or graphics calculators.

Activity 2: Farming prawns

This activity gives students the opportunity to explore the physical dimensions of a prawn farm and its stocking rates. They will use the Internet to investigate and measure the prawn farm in the video that is on the Gold Coast. They will use data similar to that provided in the video to make calculations about the number of prawns involved and feeding ratios.

Activity 3: Populations, people and prawns

This activity uses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to investigate population growth and decline. Students will gain a better understanding of exponential growth from real data. There is the opportunity for research about threatened species and populations in decline.

Activity 4: Selective breeding

Many species are improved through selective breeding. This activity uses the coefficient of inbreeding to consider possible issues with selective breeding depending on the closeness of the relationship between the breeding pair. Students will draw breeding diagrams and make associated calculations. 

Activity 5: Pop-up prawn pavilion

This activity uses the scenario of needing to save money to buy a car to consider all of the financial aspects of setting up a market stall to sell prawns-on-a-stick. The financial calculations are used to show the market stall is a viable business so that money can be borrowed to get started.

Prawns for profit - All files