Expeditions at the baltic sea coast (classes 10 to 13)

Schülerinnen und Schüler beim Expeditionslernen an der Ostseeküste

Coast protection, ecological changes and land use of the baltic sea coast

The baltic sea coast offers a diversity of aquatic, terrestrial and marine habitats. Interferences such as intensive land use and pollution, but also climate change affect these different biotopes and ecosystems. In this multi-day program students from classes 10 to 13 take a closer look at areas of the baltic sea. This expedition-learning approach raises the students‘ awareness of their environment, promotes their understanding of systems and gives a realistic insight into scientific work.

Topics of the expeditions

As part of the program Expeditions at the baltic sea coast students will deal with the following topics:

  • Ecological changes at the baltic sea coast and anthropogenic impact
    Here, organisms of the baltic sea and the anthropogenic influence through plastic- and noise-pollution and invasive species will be the center of attention. Students investigate organisms of the baltic sea and its coast and take plankton and benthos samples. Furthermore, they perform marine chemical and physical examination and analyze the pollution of the baltic sea. Additionally, students interview local stakeholders such as kiosk owner, the harbor master’s office, water rescue service or fishermen. Therefore, they ask which fish species were just caught and how the fishing quota generally are, for instance.
  • Coast protection – natural hazards and adaption strategies of the coast
    Within this topic students deal with causes of coastal dynamics. Also, effects of changing coasts on plants, animals and humans are discussed. Further, students learn about coastal protection measures and their functions. All these problems are viewed in the context of the rising of sea levels. Therefore, students ask local stakeholders and policymakers.
  • Land use of the baltic sea coast
    When choosing this topic, students conduct soil and water analyses. Also, vegetation records and the investigation of flower-visitors from differently used areas are part of the expedition. The expedition regions are located along rivers that flow into the baltic sea. This allows the investigation of effects of intensive fertilization on soils and water bodies.

Within all topics, most of the work takes place in the investigation area. In this way, the project gains a realistic expedition character. A section at the west coast of Kiel Fjord offers optimal conditions for the first two topics. There are areas with different usages such as spa beach, natural beach or harbor basin. Moreover, there is a diverse coastal morphology with steep coasts, sandy beaches, dunes or forests as well as numerous coastal protection measures. So far, expeditions for the topic land use were conducted at two small rivers that flow into the baltic sea.

Supervision of the expeditions

During the whole project, staff of Kiel Science Factory assist students with advices. Teacher trainees are also integrated in the supervision. All necessary material for the expeditions is provided by Kiel Science Factory. Any possible costs for overnight stays, food and travelling are to be paid by school.

Overview Expeditions


  • Ecological changes at the baltic sea coast and anthropogenic impact
  • Coast protection
  • Land use

Classes: 10 to 13, all types of school

Subject areas: biology, chemistry, physics, geography

Expenditure of time: 3 to 4 days

Didactical methods:

  • Project work with own and guided components
  • Working freely – students can develop and investigate their own questions
  • Insights into professional world
  • Development of future visions
  • Development of a movie

Kiel Science Factory
Dr. Katrin Knickmeier (ocean:labor)
Phone: +49 431-880 5916
E-Mail: info@forschungs-werkstatt.de