Rutgers Ocean Days

Rutgers Ocean Days has been suspended.

We hope to offer the program again in 2016.

Bring your students to Rutgers University to celebrate ocean sciences!

An opportunity for students to share their marine science projects with Rutgers Oceanographers AND for Rutgers Oceanographers to share their science with your students.


Rutgers Ocean Days: What is it? 

Rutgers Ocean Days brings students (grades 3-12) from public, private, and informal science education programs to Rutgers University to celebrate their scientific accomplishments. The goal of Rutgers Ocean Days is to excite and engage students in ocean science by providing a platform for them to learn from Rutgers oceanographers and to share results from their investigations with one another and Rutgers oceanographers.

This event encourages students to develop questions and participate in an inquiry-based scientific experiment or develop a research project that builds upon their marine and ocean science knowledge.  Through their investigations, students will become actively engaged in ocean science rather than just learning the content, and will be able to act as science communicators and peer educators. Through the Rutgers Ocean Days preparation and events students are exposed to a range of New Jersey Science Content Standards, both subject specific and science practices.

What does this look like for you and your students?

We develop Rutgers Ocean Days to offer your students a variety of activities (classroom, day-of stations, and science presentation) that complement one another to expose your students to current marine science research, to answer a motivating question, and to address a range of NJ science content and practice standards in a fun and engaging way for your students.

Each year there is an overarching theme for Rutgers Ocean Days for each grade band. Through these themes we ask classes/clubs to investigate a component of the theme and think about how it relates to their lives. As you talk through the ideas that the students generate, ask your students: how they could test or research that idea or question in an investigation? Our goal is for the students not simply to present a series of “facts” about the ocean but rather their observations and discoveries about the ocean.

The themes will help students understand how they are part of the ocean they are studying (as emphasized in the Ocean Literacy Essential Principle 6: the ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected). In addition, Rutgers Ocean Days exposes students to all of the strands of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards – Science Standard 5.1 (Science Practices) as well as various NJ CCCS content standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and other Ocean Literacy Essential Principles.

Student Presentations:

Students will work in groups of 2-5 students. Each group will develop and present a presentation on their investigations during the Science Expo at Rutgers Ocean Days.  The students will share their investigations with other students as well as Rutgers University faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.

** Students should work in groups no larger than 5 for conducting their investigations and preparing/presenting their presentations. **

All posters will be presented during the Science Expo. Each class/club will have an area of the meeting room to set up all of the displays from their different student groups. Members of the class/club will rotate through presenting their investigation and observing other students’ investigations.

Poster Information:

Poster Information Packet
Poster Entry Form
Poster Rubric
Download the Sample Poster
Advice about Scientific Investigations

IMCS Assistance & Contact Information:

The East Coast MARE Team at IMCS is ready to help in whatever way we can. We can help your students to develop questions or design the investigation, to provide assistance undertaking the investigation, to brainstorm poster content, to assist in the development of the storyboard for a film, and many other tasks. See the blog post on Science Investigations to learn helpful hints for how to conduct experiments in your classroom.

For questions or additional information on the Rutgers Ocean Days please contact Kristin Hunter-Thomson at Please include “Rutgers Ocean Days” in the subject line of your email to ensure a prompt response.

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