The NOAA Ocean Exploration program strives to engage broad audiences to enhance America’s environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. Increasing this literacy requires high-quality, effective collaborations between ocean explorers and America’s teachers. NOAA regularly forms such collaborations to reach out in new ways to the public to improve the literacy of learners with respect to ocean issues.
In conjunction with the commissioning of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection was developed to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of the Okeanos Explorer— America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration. The Education Materials Collection is presented in two volumes: Volume 1: Why Do We Explore? (modern reasons for ocean exploration) and Volume 2: How Do We Explore? (exploration methods and associated technologies)
Hands-on and standards-based lesson plans have been developed that bring entire classrooms "on board" for exploration and discovery. Using new technological "eyes" to see, sense, measure, image, and describe a little known ocean world, scientists and educators are bringing the excitement of late-breaking ocean discoveries into classrooms through the over 450 lesson plans presented here.
Expedition Education Modules are designed as an education unit to share the excitement of daily at-sea discoveries and the science behind NOAA’s major ocean exploration expedition. Each module contains an Expedition Purpose, Lessons, Multimedia Discovery Missions, OceanAGE Career Connections, and Other Resources and Links.
The Multimedia Discovery Missions are a series of 14 interactive multimedia presentations and learning activities that address topics ranging from Chemosynthesis, and Hydrothermal Vent Life, and Deep-sea Benthos to Food, Water and Medicine from the Sea.
NOAA Ocean Explorer theme pages compile the most useful educational content on our site, including essays, lesson plans, multimedia, and expeditions.
Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration is an updated curriculum for teachers of Grades 6-12 that takes lesson plans that were developed for NOAA ocean explorations and the Ocean Explorer Web Site and presents them in a comprehensive scope and sequence through subject area categories that cut across individual expeditions. Each lesson focuses on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning and is correlated to the National Science Education Standards.
Between 2001 and 2009, NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research (OER) sponsored eleven expeditions to explore deep-sea organisms and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these sites are within a few miles of the Deepwater Horizon well. Each of these expeditions was documented with an extensive Web site that included lesson plans for educators at grade levels 5 through 12. OER’s Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Ecosystem Education Materials Collection includes a selection of these lesson plans together with new lessons and additional background information about the Deepwater Horizon blowout event.
Ocean Explorer professional development offerings provide opportunities for teachers and other educators to engage in learning more about ocean exploration. They are designed to introduce participants to premiere ocean scientists/explorers and their research and explorations, and at the same time, provide exemplary tools and resources to enhance the teaching and learning of ocean science and NOAA endeavors in ocean exploration. Onsite professional development workshops are offered around the country in cooperation with our Ocean Explorer Education Alliance Partners and online professional development is offered regularly in cooperation with the College of Exploration.
Onsite teacher professional development workshops are offered at NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program Alliance partners nationwide. Currently these workshops focus on the Ocean Explorer Web site and train teachers in the use of the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, V1: Why Do We Explore?, and V2: How Do We Explore?. These one-day long professional development offerings help build regional cadres of ocean exploration teacher leaders.
In 2009, NOAA's Ocean Exploratione Program developed a new series of online teacher workshops in conjunction with the commissioning of the Okeanos Explorer, the nation’s first ship solely dedicated to ocean exploration. Through workshops on why we explore and how we explore, participants join NOAA as we begin a new era in ocean exploration and education.
Webinars are virtual meetings that allow us to introduce the science behind upcoming expeditions and the associated Education ExpeditionModule, lesson plans, and classroom resources to enable teachers and students to participate in the expedition online.
Here you will find links to useful teaching resources, many of which are covered during our teacher professional development workshops and online courses.
NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program has developed alliances with aquariums and science centers across the country. Via a group of trained Ocean Exploration program facilitators, these locations provide two onsite professional development offeringsto teachers each year.
This Resources section provides you with a link to video interviews, profiles, and mission logs from several individuals who have built their careers in different disciplines of ocean science; an ocean challenge puzzle; an interactive animated ocean exploration learning tool for younger grades, and other excellent resources to enhance classroom instruction in ocean science and exploration.
Interact with some of the talented explorers who study the ocean world. From underwater pilots to research scientists, these marine mentors will provide students with first-hand knowledge of exciting careers through their video interviews, profiles, and mission logs.
Team up with other players around the globe or your classroom to solve the puzzle. Help the group by revealing one more piece of the hidden picture.
With My Submarine Ocean Explorer you will explore exciting creatures and features found in the ocean through videos, text and photos collected on NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (NOAA OER) expeditions. View maps and charts showing the locations of the creatures and features and hear the scientists talk about their exciting work! We also have an html version of My Submarine Explorer!
This glossary contains nearly 3,000 technical terms, with their definitions, explanations, and illustrative materials where appropriate. The aim of the Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS) glossary is to help the student or layperson, as well as the professional scientist and manager, to understand the complex language and terminology of coral reef ecosystem science.
The "OP" portal, created in collaboration with organizations including NOAA, contains dynamic, multi-media content designed to engage young adults, ocean enthusiasts, and middle school teachers and their students in ocean science, education, and conservation.
Revised August 27, 2014 by the Ocean Explorer Webmaster
Office of Ocean Exploration and Research | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |
U.S. Department of Commerce