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.
Tag Archives | Informal Education
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.
COSEE NOW partner Liberty Science Center, in collaboration with Rutgers University and Lawrence Hall of Science, is pleased to offer a free day-long workshop for informal science educators.
Students are given information to plan a large exhibit scale aquarium with native species. They must keep in mind what water conditions, such as temperature and salinity, their preferred species require, the feeding habits of species, and the habitat preferences of their chosen fish in designing the tank. (A huge tank with only small benthic fish isn’t so exciting, and the minnows probably shouldn’t go in with the adult bluefish.) Once they have a plan, students must use ocean data to plan their collecting trips by matching each species’ preferred water quality properties to ocean conditions for the day.
This lesson introduces students to sea surface temperature data, as well as the concept of spatial resolution. Students work in groups to collect a limited number of “sea surface temperatures” from a simulated ocean. They discover patterns of sea surface temperature, along with challenges related to spatial resolution. Throughout the lesson, students are asked to collect and interpret data from their activity boards and from real time sources.
COSEE NOW is pleased to present a new webinar series on Using Ocean Data in Education. In this series, we will explore effective strategies for incorporating real ocean data in formal and informal education products and programs, as a way to connect students to scientific concepts and real-time science. This session is especially designed for scientists and educators who are involved in Ocean Observing Systems. Please register today!
As an informal educator, Katie Gardner works hard to help students understand how scientists observe and monitor the ocean. She even replicates many of the common problems scientists run into in the field, so students can appreciate how difficult it is. Even still, she wonders whether the path ahead to engaging students in ocean observing systems is daunting.