NOAA Webinar on Games for Classrooms

It is free to join in a webcast – login online and call on the phone to listen/speak. – please join us!

Water Life: A Serious Science Game
Date/Time/Location/Seminar Sponsor:
Wednesday, 06 October 2010, 12:00–1:00 ETZ [Check U.S. Time clock for your local time] (Seminar location: SSMC-4 (1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910), Room 8150 ; Seminar sponsored by: NOS Communication and Education Division).
Peg Steffen and Marina Kraus
Speaker e-mail(s): and
Did you know that NOAA had online games? Visit them at Serious games are games with purpose beyond entertainment. They are used for classroom learning and for policy and social change. Serious games are now used in national defense, science, advertising, business, education, and medical applications. Intelligently designed ‘serious games’ provide avenues for complex situations to be presented in a simple way. NOAA has entered the serious gaming world with the release of two games for children about estuaries and the management of loggerhead sea turtle populations. Learn about how these tools can help address key environmental challenges and reach a wider public and about an upcoming NOAA Simulation and Games Summit.
Remote Access and Notes:
Presentations are available remotely via a combination of phone & webcast. Please be aware that remote access is limited to 50 connections on a first-come-first served basis, so we cannot guarantee participation. To participate remotely you must: 1) Dial toll-free 1-877-708-1667. When prompted enter passcode 7028688 followed by the # sign. Please use your phone’s mute button (or toggle *6) during the presentation until you are ready to ask questions. 2) Go to the webcast site at 3) Enter meeting number 744925156 if needed. No passcode is required. 4) Enter other required fields. 5) Indicate that you have read the Privacy Policy and click Proceed. For questions: contact Tracy Gill (
OneNOAA Science Seminar Date Added and Listserv Subscription information:
OneNOAA Science Seminars added Thursday, July 29, 2010 3:07 PM. To hear about upcoming OneNOAA Science seminars you can subscribe to the weekly email of OneNOAA Science Seminars by visiting and filling in your email address or by sending an email to with the word `subscribe’ in the subject or body (don’t include the quotes). You can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time from the list. For information about the OneNOAA Science Seminar Series please contact Links to resources outside the Federal Government are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only [NOAA Disclaimer].

NOAA Oil Spill Updates

NOAA Fisheries Service continues to provide data, plan surveys, and protocols to the recovery effort in the Gulf of Mexico. For daily updates regarding this effort please see the Unified Command’s Joint Information Center and the NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration. For fishery-specific oil-related regulatory actions (i.e., closures and reopenings) please see the NOAA Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office website. To learn about NOAA’s science missions in the Gulf please visit the science mission website.

Environmental Literacy Grants for Formal K-12 Education Projects

NOAA’s Office of Education offers grants for Formal K-12 Education Projects that advance inquiry-based Earth System Science learning and stewardship directly tied to the school curriculum, with a particular interest in increasing climate literacy.  Note that projects related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are encouraged.  A successful project will catalyze change in K-12 education at the state, regional and national level through development of new programs and/or revision of existing programs to improve the environmental literacy of K-12 teachers and their students.  The target audiences are K-12 students, pre- and in-service teachers, and providers of pre-service teacher education and in-service teacher professional development.  There is a special interest in projects that address reaching groups traditionally underserved and/or underrepresented in Earth System science, including elementary students and teachers.  The deadline for required pre-proposals is September 8, 2010.

Oil Spills Bibliography

In support of research on oil spills, response, and restoration, the NOAA Central Library published the Oil Spills Bibliography in pdf and docx format.  Included are electronic resources, selected videos, select journal articles, and more.

NOAA Launches Online Game to Encourage Loggerhead Turtle Conservation

NOAA’s National Ocean Service and Fisheries Service launched the second online educational game in the WaterLife series, “Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest,” on July 8. The web-based game encourages and explains loggerhead sea turtle conservation through a series of games and animations aimed at fourth through seventh grade students. “Quest to Nest” was developed through a partnership with Montgomery College’s Computer Gaming and Simulation Program based in Rockville, Md. More information can be found in NOAA’s News Release and the game can be accessed directly online.

Get WET at The New England Aquarium: Blog, Day 3

Welcome to the NEOSEC project Get WET in New England: Ocean Literacy Through Watershed Education and Training

Several NEOSEC members are taking part in this collaborative project, including New England Aquarium. Program participants are keeping a blog of their activities during the workshop – follow along!

Day 3 – July 17th

Day 3 NEAq 1
The group records data on ground temp., water quality and core samples

Our third and final day was split between the Belle Isle Salt Marsh and the Aquarium’s Ocean Center Learning Lab.  As soon as the teachers arrived, we gathered our equipment and took a 15 minute T ride to the salt marsh.  Located just a short walk from the Suffolk Downs T station on the Blue Line, the Belle Isle Salt Marsh is a great place to observe another area ecosystem.  After a couple hours of exploring and taking some data, we headed back to the classroom to compare what we had found on the dock (day 1), in the tidepool (day 2) and the salt marsh.  We finished the day with some open discussion about their final projects.  Here are some more reflections of the day by the participants.

James Britton – 7th grade in Braintree, MA “This fall will be my first field trip with middle school students, so I am sure there will be many challenges, some of which I can foresee and many that I won’t.  I would imagine that proper care of equipment would be a concern, so I would ask that chaperones or any support staff present help me in making sure that nothing gets broken and that all materials/equipment are accounted for.  I would also expect that the proper handling of organisms by students would also present a challenge, including making sure that they are returned to the proper intertidal zone.  To overcome this, I would have an in-class demonstration of how to handle the animals and go over where they belong, so that they kids have a sense and a comfort level before they arrive in the field.”

Day 3 NEAq 2
Sarah and Margaret discuss water pH

Joanne Harrington – 8th grade in Cape Cod, MA “As things appear now, I would like to have students visit the Plum Island/Parker River Refuge to explore topics related to the grade 8 curriculum.  In grade 8, current topics that could easily be implemented in a field experience include weather/climate and chemistry/properties of matter.  Since MCAS is given in the 8th grade I would also like to review grades 6 and 7 curriculum topics that address concepts related to erosion, deposition, the food web, and the flora and fauna of the coastal environment as part of the field experience.  I envision an in-depth chemistry lesson that addresses the health of the marsh and coastal areas using tests such as dissolved oxygen, pH levels, nitrate and nitrite levels, as well as salinity within the classroom prior to the field experience.  For example, I would like to have students compare water samples from a variety of locations leading them to discuss point-source and non-point source pollutants that may affect ponds, lakes, rivers and estuaries.“

Day 3 NEAq 3
The group heads in from the salt marsh

Joanie Kadaras – 8th grade in Chelmsford, MA “I am not a biology teacher, so I would like to have someone come to our school and connect why we, living along the middle part of the watershed, should be good stewards of our section or else life would be affected at the mouth?  I want the students to understand the connection between all parts of the watershed.  I doubt my students realize how important the mouth of the river is to ocean life.  They have heard of estuaries but I would like them to realize that the water they are seeing and testing will be in the estuaries and needs to be healthy for x, y, and z life at the mouth of the Merrimack.”

We really enjoyed working with all the teachers and can’t wait to see them in the fall!

NOAA Oil Spill Website

On June 14th NOAA launched a new Federal website meant to answer oil spill response questions with clarity and transparency — a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The website incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill. Developed through a joint partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center, the site is a Web-based GIS platform designed specifically for response activities where it is necessary to coordinate with various federal, state and local agencies. The site will serve as the official Federal source for map-based data.