New Zealand's Sandy Coasts Educational CD

New Zealand's Sandy Coasts CD title page.

An example page from the beach types module, illustrating some features of the CD.

The aim of this resource is to encourage secondary school students to learn about coastal processes and to use coastal processes as a tool for understanding other natural phenomena such as waves and tides. The CD is designed to raise awareness of coastal issues and hazards, such as the effect that erosion might have on coastal development. “Sandy Coasts” promotes the message that environmental science is fun and relevant.

The resource is built around six modules: Overview of our coastal environment, What causes beaches?, Surf-zone processes, Beaches, Dunes, and Coastal erosion. Other topics within the modules include: winds and waves, tides and sea-level rise and rip currents. Each module ends with questions posed at a range of levels. Numerous Web links encourage further reading/research.

The CD features colourful three-dimensional schematics, photographs of real-life examples, bullet-point text for easy reading, animations, and pop-up definitions that appear technical terms. A voice-over (like a video) lets students listen instead of reading so they can pay more attention to the graphics and animations. The design allows students to work at their own pace and move freely between topics.

The first version of the CD requires Windows, and a Macintosh version will be considered if there if there is sufficient demand.