COSEE Networked Ocean World (COSEE NOW) built an online network of scientists and educators focused on using emerging Ocean Observing Systems (OOS) technologies and real time data for public education across a broad continuum including community colleges, the K-12 formal education community, and informal learning institutions.
The COSEE NOW team – with investigators from Rutgers University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Liberty Science Center, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Word Craft, University of South Florida, and Monterey Peninsula College’s MATE program – surveyed and confered with educators and scientists on their use of ocean data to build the community’s knowledge and skills in using real time data in education and public outreach.
Ocean Observing Systems (OOS) represent an exciting new paradigm of internet-based ocean exploration. COSEE NOW’s research and development projects focused on facilitating communications between educators and scientists; developing new data products and professional development services to improve communications and promote collaboration; and co-creating quality education and media products for use with the general public.
Since COSEE NOW’s start in 2008, we have learned a great deal with many important collaborative learning experiences. Through the efforts of our center evaluator, our constituents (audiences) have become our partners. By doing front end evaluation projects, we learned what our scientists, classroom educators, and informal educators wanted and needed with respect to OOS, and we made them a part of the development cycle of identifying effective practices and products.
Our annual scientist survey provided a ten-year story of the opportunities and challenges scientists see in working with COSEE and thinking about engaging and educating the public in their scientific research.
By listening to the needs of the emerging Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS) professional community, we developed and used a blended approach of face-to-face professional development opportunities coupled with online webinars and blogging, to create a vibrant community of professionals learning from and sharing ideas with each other.
By leveraging the COSEE NOW online tools, more than 50 COSEE NOW scientists have shared their research through our professional podcast program, Ocean Gazing. These podcasts were designed to capture the personal stories of scientists and their work and help the scientists make their science accessible to the public.
Though the COSEE NOW network, formal and informal educators mentored young scientists in our Communicating Ocean Science for Informal Audiences (COSIA) class taught at Rutgers University. Students benefited from online reviews and critiques of their lesson plans to be presented at the Liberty Science Center for museum guests.
Perhaps one of our proudest achievements was the involvement of scientists seeking the assistance of COSEE NOW in implementing their Criterion II projects for National Science Foundation funded projects. A network of approximately 100 scientists leveraged the COSEE NOW online infrastructure to engage with educator partners in effective education and public outreach. For example, COSEE NOW hosts the NSF funded Ross Sea Connection project. Dr. Josh Kohut, together with science photographer Chris Linder and writer Hugh Powell, partnered with a team of informal and formal educators to share the research in Antarctica and the glider technology used to collect their data.
COSEE NOW emphasized educating students and teachers as well as the public on the availability and use of real time data. MATE’s Ocean Drifter project incorporates ocean technology, real-time data collection, and data sharing into a community college curriculum. Thirteen faculty from around the country participated in drifter data collection and activities, resulting in the incorporation of real time data collection into 19 different courses. In addition, COSEE NOW explored how to expand the use of real time data across the spectrum of learning – from undergraduate classrooms to the floors of science centers and aquaria.
COSEE NOW made significant contributions in the ocean observing systems community and provided model lessons and resources used nationally. Highlights of the work include:
- Assisting scientists with Criterion II. The Ross Sea Connection project provides an example of a NSF Broader Impact project successfully facilitated by COSEE NOW. Others include RU COLD and Climate Change and the Atlantic Surf Clam Fishery.
- Training for scientists and educators through face-to-face and online programs. COSEE NOW offered 24 webinars to build collaborations and capacity among scientists and educators. Early in its development, COSEE NOW provided storytelling training to engender a culture of connecting with your audience.
- Ocean Gazing Podcasts highlights the 50 podcasts done by Dr. Ari Daniel Shapiro. Companion lesson plans were developed by VIMS, USF, and Liberty Science Center to help educators integrate the podcasts into learning experiences. Podcast clips are also accessible by cell phone on the museum floor of Liberty Science Center.
- Using real time data (RTD) in education and public outreach has been a hallmark of COSEE NOW. Ocean Drifters encourages community college faculty to engage their students in collecting and using RTD. COSEE NOW has provided training to education professionals to encourage them to share and discuss RTD use in education and public outreach. The COOL Classroom is a collaboration between the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and OOS scientists and explores the use of RTD and the development of interactive software.
- Online resources such as Antarctica Melting were developed to help formal and informal educators access research through online media focused on scientists telling their story in their own words and pictures.
COSEE NOW partners worked to address issues in the following thematic areas: