Educators and scientists working with NOAA developed a series of lessons for students in Grades 5 - 12 that are specifically tied to the science behind the Aegean and Black Sea 2006 Expedition. These lessons focus on cutting-edge ocean exploration and research using state-of-the-art technologies.
The lesson plans are grouped into the following categories:
In addition to being tied to the National Science Education Standards and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, the hands-on, inquiry-based activities include focus questions, background information for teachers, links to interesting Internet sites, and extensions. Web logs that document the latest discoveries and complement the lessons, complete with compelling images and video, will be sent back each day from sea. Teachers are encouraged to use the daily logs from the Aegean and Black Sea 2006 Expedition, which are posted on this site, to supplement the lessons.
Read a description of each lessons and/or download them to your computer. All of the lessons are available in a PDF format, and may be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download a lesson, click on its title from the listing below. (Note: if you have problems downloading one of these lessons, right-click on the link and save the lesson to your desktop.)
The Volcano Factory
Focus: Volcanism at tectonic plate boundaries
Students will be able to explain the processes that result in the formation of volcanoes at tectonic plate boundaries
Focus: Marine archaeology (Physical Science)
In this activity, students create a model of a Bronze Age shipwreck site, use a grid system to document the location of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site, use data about the location and types of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site to draw inferences about the sunken ship and the people who were aboard, and identify and explain types of evidence and expertise that can help verify the nature and historical context of artifacts recovered from shipwrecks.
Focus: Sidescan sonar (Earth Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students will describe sidescan sonar, compare and contrast sidescan sonar with other methods used to search for underwater objects, and make inferences about the topography of an unknown and invisible landscape based on systematic discontinuous measurements of surface relief.
My Friend, The Volcano
Focus: Ecological impacts of volcanism (Life Science/Earth Science)
In this lesson, students will be able to describe at least three beneficial impacts of volcanic activity on marine ecosystems, and will be able to explain the overall tectonic processes that cause volcanic activity.
Do You Have a Sinking Feeling?
Focus: Marine archaeology (earth science/mathematics)
In this activity, students plot the position of a vessel given two bearings on appropriate landmarks, draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck, and explain how the debris field associated with a shipwreck gives clues about the circumstances of the sinking ship.
What’s the Difference?
Focus: Volcanic processes at convergent and divergent tectonic plate boundaries (Earth Science)
Students will be able to compare and contrast volcanoes at convergent and divergent plate boundaries; identify three geologic features that are associated with most volcanoes on Earth; and explain why some volcanoes erupt explosively while others do not.
I, Robot, Can Do That!
Focus: Underwater Robotic Vehicles for Scientific Exploration (Physical Science/Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe and contrast at least three types of underwater robots used for scientific explorations, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using underwater robots in scientific explorations, and identify robotic vehicles best suited to carry out certain tasks.
I Can’t Breathe!
Focus: Anoxic ocean environments
Looking for Clues (8 pages, 556k) (from the Titanic 2004 Expedition)
Focus: Marine archaeology of the Titanic
In this activity, students will be able to draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck, and will list three processes that contribute to the Titanic's deterioration.
The Biggest Plates on Earth (7 pages, 192k) (from the 2002 Submarine Ring of Fire Expedition)
Focus: Plate tectonics - movement of plates, results of plate movement, and magnetic anomalies at spreading centers.
In this activity, students will be able to describe the motion of tectonic plates and differentiate between three typical boundary types that occur between tectonic plates, infer what type of boundary exists between two tectonic plates, understand how magnetic anomalies provide a record of geologic history around spreading centers, infer the direction of motion between two tectonic plates given information on magnetic anomalies surrounding the spreading ridge between the plates, and describe plate boundaries and tectonic activity in the vicinity of the Juan de Fuca plate.
Unexplored! (7 pages, 724k) (from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Scientific exploration of deep-sea volcanoes (Life Science/Physical Science/Earth Science)
Students will be able to compare and contrast submarine volcanoes at convergent and divergent plate boundaries; infer the kinds of living organisms that may be found around hydrothermal vents; describe three ways in which scientists may prepare to explore areas that are practically unknown; and explain two types of primary production that may be important to biological communities around hydrothermal vents in the Mariana Arc.
Mapping Deep-sea Habitats in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (7 pages, 80kb) (from the 2002 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Expedition)
Focus: Bathymetric mapping of deep-sea habitats (Earth Science - This activity can be easily modified for Grades 5-6)
In this activity, students will be able to create a two-dimensional topographic map given bathymetric survey data, will create a three-dimensional model of landforms from a two-dimensional topographic map, and will be able to interpret two- and three-dimensional topographic data.
How Does Your Magma Grow? (6 pages, 224k) (from the 2005 Galapagos: Where Ridge Meets Hotspot Expedition)
Focus: Hot spots and midocean ridges (Physical Science)
In this activity, students will identify types of plate boundaries associated with movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, compare and contrast volcanic activity associated with spreading centers and hot spots, describe processes which resulted in the formation of the Galapagos Islands, and describe processes that produce hydrothermal vents.
It's Going to Blow Up! (10 pages, 1.6Mb) (from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Volcanism on the Pacific Ring of Fire (Earth Science)
In this lesson, students will be able to describe the processes that produce the Submarine Ring of Fire; explain the factors that contribute to explosive volcanic eruptions; identify at least three benefits that humans derive from volcanism; describe the primary risks posed by volcanic activity in the United States; and identify the volcano within the continental U.S. that is considered most dangerous.
Come on Down! (6 pages, 464k) (from the 2002 Galapagos Rift Expedition)
Focus: Ocean Exploration
In this activity, students will research the development and use of research vessels/vehicles used for deep ocean exploration; calculate the density of objects by determining the mass and volume; and construct a device that exhibits neutral buoyancy.
What's Eating Titanic? (5 pages, 408k) (from the Titanic 2004 Expedition)
Focus: Biodeterioration processes (Physical Science/Biological Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe three processes that contribute to the deterioration of the Titanic, and define and describe rusticles, explaining their contribution to biodeterioration. Students will also be able to explain how processes that oxidize iron in Titanic’s hull differ from iron oxidation processes in shallow water.
Designing Tools for Ocean Exploration (13 pages, 496k) (from the 2002 Galapagos Rift Expedition)
Focus: Ocean Exploration
In this activity, students will understand the complexity of ocean exploration; students will learn about the technological applications and capabilities required for ocean exploration; students will discover the importance of teamwork in scientific research projects; and students will develop the abilities necessary for scientific inquiry.
Submersible Designer (4 pages, 452k) (from the 2002 Galapagos Rift Expedition)
Focus: Deep Sea Submersibles
In this activity, students will understand that the physical features of water can be restrictive to movement; students will understand the importance of design in underwater vehicles by designing their own submersible; Students will understand how submersibles such as ALVIN and ABE, use energy, buoyancy, and gravity to enable them to move through the water.
Mapping the Canyon(10 pages, 72k) (from the 2001 Deep East Expedition)
Focus: Hudson Canyon Bathymetry (Earth Science)
In this activity, students will be able to compare and contrast a topographic map to a bathymetric map; investigate the various ways in which bathymetric maps are made; and learn how to interpret a bathymetric map.
Finding the Way (10 pages, 628k) (from the 2001 Deep East Expedition)
Focus: Underwater Navigation (Physical Science)In this activity, students will describe how the compass, Global Positioning System (GPS), and sonar are used in underwater explorations; and understand how navigational tools can be used to determine positions and navigate in the underwater environment.
For More Information
Contact Paula Keener-Chavis, national education coordinator for the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, for more information.
Other lesson plans developed for this Web site are available in the Education Section.