Category Archives: Online Ocean Science Education Resources

NOAA Explorer Education Materials Collection

The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research announces the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection. The Education Vision for the Okeanos Explorer is that this is the ship upon which learners of all ages embark together on scientific voyages of exploration to poorly-known or unexplored areas of the global ocean. Learners will participate in innovative ways as ocean explorers in breakthrough discoveries leading to increased scientific understanding and enhanced literacy about our ocean world.

To help fulfill this vision, the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection is being developed to encourage educators, students, and citizen scientists to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of America’s first Federal ship dedicated to Ocean Exploration. Lesson plans in the Collection will focus on three themes: “Why Do We Explore?” (reasons for ocean exploration); “How Do We Explore?” (exploration methods); and “What Do We Expect to Find?” (recent discoveries that give us clues about what we may find in Earth’s largely unknown ocean).

For each of these themes, a Leader’s Guide for Classroom Explorers provides background information, links to resources, and an overview of recommended lesson plans. An Initial Inquiry Lesson for each of the three themes leads student inquiries into key topics and a series of lessons for each theme guide student investigations that explore these topics in greater depth.

The first of these three themes, Why Do We Explore?, is now available on the NOAA Ocean Exploration Web site at:

Lessons for this theme guide classroom inquiries into key topics of Ocean Exploration: Climate Change, Energy, Human Health, and Ocean Health. Please note that while each Okeanos Explorer lesson is targeted toward a specific grade level, most can be adapted for use in other grades as well.

This information was also provided in an online course setting in partnership with the College of Exploration. To access the archives of this Why Do We Explore? online educator professional development, please login at:

Web Network for Ocean Related Projects

The World Ocean Observatory (W2O) is pleased to announce the launch of Our Ocean Space, a web-based network for the exchange of ocean related projects—art, audio-visual presentations, and other imaginative formats—created and uploaded by young Citizens of the Ocean to share with their counterparts worldwide. The intent is for teachers and students both to upload and share their ocean-related projects with other classrooms, linking together young people through their understanding and interpretation of ocean systems. Our vision is that teachers and students will begin an exchange between classrooms, using Our Ocean Space as a catalyst for direct international connections between ocean students and stewards everywhere.

The W2O is now inviting presentations and class projects to be submitted in PowerPoint format, as well as the opportunity to add a gallery of photographs and to upload other media, such as video links via YouTube. We must require teachers to address copyright clearance for submitted photographs, music, and other literary and graphic materials. Each new project will be marked as a “DRAFT” and reviewed by the W2O Editor for appropriate content. Once approved, the project will be live on the site. Our intent with Our Ocean Space is to create a secure environment to share presentations, content and ideas for educational purposes only. Students and teachers will have the opportunity to comment on particular projects and to share ideas between users. As projects accumulate on the site, they will be organized and search-able by subject and region. In order to keep Our Ocean Space safe and secure for users and content, we ask that users create an account. Your unique user name and password (you will be sent an email after you register with a password to log back in) will be required to upload new projects and to comment on existing ones.

We hope you will engage in this global educational exchange, and that connections between teachers, classrooms, and nations will emerge. The W2O is predicated on the assumption that “the sea connects all things” and we offer this free service as a manifestation of a growing, international exchange of ocean information and educational service.

If you would to receive additional information regarding Our Ocean Space and other W2O projects, please subscribe to the W2O Newsletter here. We invite you pass the Our Ocean Space link on to fellow educators in your organization or teachers in your area who might be interested in participating. Please be in touch if you have questions regarding log in or project upload. We’ll look forward to watching Our Ocean Space grow in the coming months.

The Google Global Science Fair is Coming

Google is pleased to share with NSTA members an early heads-up about the upcoming launch of the first ever Google Science Fair. Google has partnered with NASA, CERN, National Geographic, Scientific American, and LEGO to create a totally new kind of STEM competition: a science fair that is more open, inclusive, and global than ever before. The Google Science Fair aims to be the largest global science competition ever and will be open to all students age 13–18 around the world. To sign up for some cool Google stuff for your classroom, please visit the Google Global Science Fair landing page.

Lab Out Loud Episode 54: The Encyclopedia of Life

Originally imagined by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson as “an electronic page for each species of organism on Earth,” The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia intended to document every living species known to science. It is compiled from existing databases and from contributions by experts and non-experts throughout the world.

Join hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler as they talk to Dr. Marie Studer (EOL Learning and Education Director) and Mr. Bob Corrigan (EOL Product Manager and Acting Deputy Director) to learn about the EOL, how to participate in the project, and how it can be used in the classroom.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Resources

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Council for Science and the Environment and partners have created the Online Clearinghouse for Education & Networking: Oil Interdisciplinary Learning (OCEAN-OIL), an open-access, peer-reviewed electronic education resource about the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  OCEAN-OIL offers hyper-linked encyclopedia-style articles related to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster; a glossary of terms related to oil spill causes, impacts, clean-up, and prevention; acronyms; image galleries; news sources; education; and much more.  The OCEAN-OIL website is integrated into the Encyclopedia of Earth as a subcategory under the Energy topic.  The collection is constantly being updated, and contributions are welcomed.

Dive and Discover in the Gulf of Mexico

Join Dive and Discover’s online expedition as the deep-sea submersibles Alvin and Sentry explore the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico with scientists from Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, Haverford College, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.   The website will offer daily posts from Alvin’s support ship, R/V Atlantis, that report on research at sea, life aboard ship, and news of what the scientists find each day.  Students can also delve deeper into topics related to life in the ocean and email questions to researchers on board.  The expedition starts December 6, 2010.  The website offers classroom activities, hot topics, and more.

Dive and Discover in the Gulf of Mexico

Dive and Discover is going to the Gulf of Mexico and your students are invited to come along. Scientists from Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, Haverford College, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will use the deep-sea submersibles Alvin and Sentry to explore the ocean floor for signs of impact on deep-ocean ecosystems by the recent oil spill.
The online adventure gives your students access to daily posts from Alvin’s support ship, R/V Atlantis, that report on the  excitement and challenge of research at sea, life aboard ship, and breaking news of what the scientists find each day.  Students can also delve deeper into topics related to life in the ocean and email questions to researchers on board.

Take your classroom to sea this semester—the adventure begins December 6, 2010.  Follow the expedition

Webinar: Climate Change and Iron

COSEE Ocean Systems presents December 1 at 7pm ET – “Climate Change and the Role of Iron”. Featuring: Dr. Fei CHAI (University of Maine) and Jennifer Albright (Tabor Academy).  Dr. Fei CHAI will provide an overview of the two main areas of research in the field of “climate intervention” technologies, including those that either reduce the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth or attempt to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere. The presentation will focus on the science behind iron fertilization experiments and the ocean’s role in affecting climate.

Jennifer Albright will talk to us about her decision to use concept mapping in her classroom as a tool to introduce the complex topics of global warming and climate change. She proposed that concept mapping would visually simplify the complex issues and enable high school students to understand them more intuitively than using traditional methods alone.  [Sign up now!]

About the COSEE-OS ROLE Model webinars:

You can learn about recent and exciting scientific research from world-class researchers — and get customizable versions of these scientists’ interactive concept maps — from the comfort of your living room! Free and easy to attend, ROLE Model webinars offer direct access to scientists as well as take-home resources that can be used immediately. Featured educators will also showcase their use of concept maps in educational environments. All you’ll need in order to participate are a telephone and an Internet connection.

Missed one of the previous webinars? Check out full-length webinar videos, clips and educational resources from previous webinars featuring scientists presenting on Estuary Ecology (11.17.10) Climate Aerosols (11.03.10) Studying the Dynamics of Melting Icebergs (10.20.10), The Carbon Cycle (10.03.10), Persistent Organic Pollutants (9.22.10) or Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems (07.28.10) at