The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research 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.
The Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection was developed to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. The 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).
NOAA Ocean Explorer theme pages provide collections of some of the best of our website content on specific topics. Each theme page includes essays, lessons, videos, and images. Look for theme pages on seamounts, deep-sea corals, marine archaeology, vents and volcanoes, and more.
Hands-on and standards-based lesson plans have been developed that bring entire classrooms "on board" for ocean 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 more than 450 lesson plans presented here.
Expedition Education Modules are designed to reach out in new ways to teachers, students, and the general public and share the excitement of daily at-sea discoveries and the science behind NOAA’s major ocean exploration initiatives with the people around the world. Each module provides access to an expedition purpose/overview, lessons, Multimedia Discovery Missions, OceanAGE Career Connections, and other resources.
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 to Deep-sea Benthos, Plate Tectonics, Tides, and more.
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 website 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, the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research (OER) sponsored 11 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 presence 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. The offerings are designed to introduce participants to premiere ocean scientists/explorers and their research and explorations. At the same time, we provide exemplary tools and resources for the classroom 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. Online professional development is offered regularly in cooperation with the College of Exploration.
An essential component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) mission is to enhance ocean science literacy and enhance understanding why it is important to explore our little-known ocean world. To help fulfill this mission, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection was developed to encourage educators and their students to become engaged with expeditions and discoveries made by the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer—America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration.
Educators are invited to join NOAA OER facilitators for Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA 7-hour professional development at partner sites across the country. Participants will learn about the importance of ocean exploration and the advanced technological capabilities used to explore the deep ocean. The workshop will introduce standards-based, hands-on activities and online resources that guide classroom teaching and learning. Participation in this workshop is free for educators, but registration is required and space is limited.
NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research offers periodic online teacher workshops to provide educators with more in-depth studies into specific ocean science content through the context of ocean exploration.
Ocean Explorer Webinars for Educators are one-hour introductions to the science behind upcoming expeditions and associated Education Expedition Modules, lessons, and resources to enable teachers to bring Ocean Explorer expeditions alive in their classrooms.
The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research provides a monthly newsletter for educators, providing quick access to ocean exploration-focused, standards-based tips and tools to bring the excitement and science of ocean exploration into your classroom. If you would like to subscribe to our educator newsletter, please sign up here.
Here you will find links to useful teaching resources, many of which are covered during our teacher professional development workshops and online courses.
The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research 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 offerings to teachers each year.
This Resources section provides you with access 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 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 in your classroom or around the globe to solve the ocean challenge puzzle. Answer ocean trivia questions to 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 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 a non-Flash, html version of My Submarine Ocean 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 Smithsonian Ocean Portal, created in collaboration with organizations including NOAA, contains dynamic, multimedia content designed to engage young adults, ocean enthusiasts, and middle school teachers and their students in ocean science, education, and conservation.
Revised December 16, 2016 by the NOAA Ocean Explorer Webmaster
Office of Ocean Exploration and Research | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |
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