The COSEE NOW team along with colleagues Catherine Halversen (COSEE CA), Bob Chen (COSEE OCEAN), and Annette deCharon and Carla Companion (COSEE Ocean Systems) recently held a workshop for early career scientists called GEARS. The GEARS program is designed to help scientists effectively communicate the broader impacts of their work. The program offers a range […]
Quality lesson plans, activities, and other materials for formal and informal educators from the NOW community.
This Fish Oil-Lesson Plan was developed in partnership with Anita Brinker from the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health at Rutgers University and used to help high school students understand the health benefits of fish oils. This lesson was used with high school students in the 4-H Summer Science program.
In this lesson, students participate in a sand castle building contest to learn how sand is formed and how sand grain size varies along the beach. This lesson was recently developed by Kristin Hunter Thomson and Kyle Richter for the 4-H Summer Science program. Students worked in teams to build castles along a transect from […]
What is science? This can be a difficult question to answer. Science is often taught from a historical perspective to understand what scientists have learned and discovered. Laboratories often focus on skills development and lose sight of big picture of how science works. This lesson will help introduce students to a variety of essential skills […]
This activity is intended to help students understand how fisheries scientists collect and analyze data about the local fish populations. Through a simulate field seasons, students are exposed to what fish science in the field looks like. Also, students must analyze their data and compare it with the 40 years of actual Black Sea Bass data. The activity is meant to model the work of fisheries scientists and enable students to see natural fluctuations and the effects of humans on wild populations.
Make connections between the physical characteristics of an environment and the organisms that inhabit it by having students engage in a kinetic game interpreting ocean temperature data while role playing a fish with specific physical water requirements in a game that simulates one year in time.
Using ocean data products, students will explore the relationship between seasons as we observe them on land and seasons in the ocean. Working in pairs or small groups, students will be challenged to explain the differences and similarities seen within the ocean data to their experiences with continental seasons.
Not only do physical characteristics of ocean water change over horizontal distance, they also change with depth. Students use a model simulating the three-dimensional aspects of the ocean to create a cross section of the water column. This is done to visually define the idea of a cross section, and to familiarize students with looking at cross sections. Once comfortable with working with cross sections we introduce other data sets to demonstrate seasonality and look for patterns and changes in patterns in the vertical distribution of certain water properties.
This kinetic game has students take a trip through some of the reservoirs in the carbon cycle helps them experience sources and sinks, fluxes, and residence time. This provides an experience for putting basic scientific concepts like photosynthesis and respiration in the context of larger biogeochemical cycles and framing conservation of matter. Understanding the carbon cycle is essential to student understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change.
Students will create water samples with different temperatures and salinities, and then compare their sample with a partner’s in a tank. Once they finish observing the behavior of their samples, they will make some density calculations and explain their observations in terms of density. Discuss as a group what effects changing properties such as temperature and salinity have on water density, and what this means for ocean circulation and habitats.