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Ocean Journey: Discovery through Scholarship and Internship at the Ocean Explorium


  • Project TitleOcean Journey: Discovery through Scholarship and Internship at the Ocean Explorium
  • ThemeScience Literacy and Education
  • Submitted ByDonna Guay
  • OrganizationNew Bedford High School - Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport
  • Brief DescriptionThis program was designed to develop interns` science literacy through exposure to classroom learning experiences which include hands-on activities, projects, labs, field trips, performance tasks, guest speakers, Science On a Sphere (SOS) presentations, and inquiry based research.
  • Materials / ResourcesSOS, classroom space, Ocean Explorium exhibits which include aquarium tanks, aquarist`s room interactive lessons, explorers table, discovery center ages 0-8,Ocean Explorium staff, guest speakers, field trips, Ocean Explorium curriculum, MACF, text books, marine life related literature, binders, lessons` materials
  • Team membersEducators, Interns, Ocean Explorium staff, Ocean Explorium patrons
  • Pre-requisite knowledgeGeneral knowledge of MACF biology concepts
  • Technical support neededoccassional use of internet for content research, Aquarist, Science on a Sphere, Ocean Explorium educators and staff
  • Any modifications or extensions for particular student populations?used a variety of strategies to instruct and assess students with multi-level abilities and different learning needs and styles

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsWhat is life like in the ocean?
    How can we preserve life in the ocean?
    Why is the ocean so important to the health of our planet?
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?Concepts in marine biology were identified with consideration to MACF standards alignment in biology for grade 9. Content covered allowed opportunities for students to engage in meaningful academic experiences. Knowledge gained by students has real world application given the coastal marine environment of New Bedford.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?biology textbook, literature, lesson plans, Ocean Explorium educators and staff, web resources, field trips,Ocean Explorium exhibits, library books
  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?Interns created interactive felt boards to be used as an education tool on the Ocean Explorium`s WOW Mobile, Interns collected information and organized all work in a binder which will be used to reinforce biology concepts, Interns researched exhibits and performed guided tours for the purpose of educating the public on aspects of marine life, Interns rotated work place responsibilities each day. Students also demonstrated an understanding of the importance of their role as community members and how this will set a foundation for career opportunities not only in the field of marine biology but in other areas such as molecular biology, microbiology, chemistry, environmental science, oceanography, and organismal biology.

Units / Activities

  • Vocabulary 90 min. MACF 1.1-1.3Interns were given vocabulary terms and asked to create a wordsplash to represent terms and meaningssee attached list of terms, paper, exemplary model

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Vocab 1.pdf

  • Living/non-living Lab 45 min. MACF 1.1Interns identified 6 most common elements in living things
    Distinguished between living and non-living things based on knowledge of characteristics of life
    see attached photos, work sheet

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Living_nonliving lab.pdf

  • Plastic Living/non-living tactile sort 15 min. MACF 1.1Interns were asked to sort 3D plastic organisms into living and non-living categories after brief discussion of characteristics of life3D plastic organisms
  • H2O Molecule Building 45 min. MACF 1.1-1.3Interns were given background information on biomolecules and terms associated with molecular biology and the molecular structure of water
    Interns constructed a 2D water molecule and discussed the unique qualities of water
    see attached molecule diagram Scissors, crayons, glue, tape

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/H2O molecule building.pdf

  • Penny and Paper Clip Lab 1 hour MACF 1.3Interns conducted a lab exploring the cohesive and adhesive properties of watersee attached lesson plan for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Penny and Paper Clip Lab.pdf

  • pH Lab 1 hour MACF 1.3Interns conducted a lab in which they tested the pH of various substancessee attached lab for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/pH lab.pdf

  • Density Box Demo 15 min. MACF 1.3Interns viewed a demonstration which showed the difference in density between hot and cold watersee attached lab for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Density box demo.pdf

  • Vocabulary 90 min. MACF 2.3 - 2.4 5.2, 6.3, 6.4Interns created graphic study cards and word searches with cluessee attached pictures of vocabulary terms on card stock, graph paper, definitions

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Vocab 2.pdf

  • Seaweed Observation and ID Lab 1 hour MACF 2.3, 5.2 Interns identified various species of seaweed and categorized each specimen and described it in an identification chartsee attached Seaweed literature, Fresh seaweed, crayons, Seaweed ID chart

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/seaweed observation and id lab.pdf

  • The Ins and Outs of Photosynth-esis Day 1 10min Day 2 45 min MACF 2.4, 6.4Interns conducted a photosynthesis lab see attached lab for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/the ins and outs of photosynthesis.pdf

  • Kingdom Fact Sheet 40 min. MACF 2.2,2.3 5.2Interns identified and categorized organisms according to the Kingdom to which it belonged and also listed characteristics of each organism based on its categorizationsee attached lesson plan for materials list and all required documents

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/kingdom fact sheet.pdf

  • Prokaryote/Eukaryote Comparison 20 min. MACF 2.2 Interns used knowledge of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic organisms in order to discuss and compare the differences and similarities between the two and complete the Venn Diagramsee attached Background info on Pro/Eukaryotic cells, Venn Diagram

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/prokaryote_eukaryote comparison.pdf

  • 2D photosynth-esis equation 15 min. MACF 2.4 6.4Interns identified the reactants and products of photosynthesissee attached photosynthesis equation map, images

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/2D photosynthesis equation.pdf

  • Vocabulary 30 min MACF 4.1-4.5, 4.7Interns completed a Body Works crossword introducing them to vocabulary termssee attached Body Works crossword

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Vocab 3.pdf

  • Body System Diagrams 10-15 min. per diagram MACF 4.1-4.5, 4.7Interns completed diagrams to identify body systems and the organs in each system and their functions were discussed. Interns also wrote descriptions of parts in each system and their function.System Diagrams, notebooks (circulatory, Urinary, Skelatal, Respiratory, Digestive, Nervous)

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Body System Diagrams.pdf

  • Video 120 min. MACF 4.1-4.5,4.7Interns watched segments of the PBS video "Human Body:Pushing the Limits." Interns wrote reflections in their notebooks as they watched the video and were asked to share some of the most significant facts they noted PBS video "Human Body: Pushing the Limits" TV and DVD player or lap top and projector
  • External Anatomy of a Perch and Shark 20 min. MACF 4.1-4.5, 4.7Interns were given background information on fish anatomy and were asked to identify the specific parts of a fish and compare fish organs and their functions to those of humanssee attached fish diagrams and background information

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/External Anatomy of a Perch and Shark.pdf

  • Fashion a Fish 1 hour MACF 5.3Interns used cut outs for various fish characteristics in order to create a fish of their own. Interns also described its behaviors, habitat, reproduction mode, etc. see attached lesson plan for materials list and background information

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Fashion a Fish.pdf

  • Internal Anatomy of a Bony Fish 30 min. MACF 4.1-4.5Interns were given background information on the internal organs in a bony fish and asked to make comparisons between fish and humans. Interns identified and discussed organ similarities/differences in name and function.see attached fish background information

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Internal Anatomy of a Bony Fish.pdf

  • Water Cycle Model 1.5 hours MACF 6.4 Interns constructed a water cycle model and wrote notes providing them with background information and key term definitionssee attached water cycle model lesson plan for materials list and worksheets

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Water Cycle Model.pdf

  • Nitrogen Passport 1 hour MACF 6.4Interns wrote notes related to the nitrogen cycle and key terms. Interns were given a passport in which to travel as nitrogen molecules to and from the various places where nitrogen might be found in non-living and living things.see attached lesson plan for materials list and worksheets

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Nitrogen Passport.pdf

  • Please Pass the Carbon 1 hour MACF 6.4Interns wrote notes providing them with background information and key terms related to the carbon cycle. Interns engaged in an interactive simulation of how carbon is transferredsee attached lesson plan for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Please Pass the Carbon.pdf

  • Musical Nutrients 45 min. MACF 6.4Interns wrote notes providing them with background information and key terms related to the phosphorus cycle. Interns engaged in an interactive game in order to understand the importance of maintaining equillibriums in nutrient cyclessee attached lesson plan for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Musical Nutrients.pdf

  • Ocean Acidificat-ion Demo 15 min. MACF 6.4, 1.3 Interns watched a demo on the effects of ocean acidification. Interns observed changes in the surface of scallop shells which had been placed in three different solutions; H2O, H2O & vinegar, vinegar. Interns made predictions of what would happen to each shellsee attached plan for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Ocean Acidification Demo.pdf

  • Enviro-scape 45 min. MACF 6.4Interns observed the effects of pollution on the environment by participating in the enviroscape labsee attached lesson for directions for creating your own watershed and using it to demonstrate run-off pollution from various sources

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Enviroscape.pdf

  • Earth`s Water as an Apple 45 min. MACF 6.4Interns created a visual representation of the earth`s water divided according to its usesee attached lesson plan for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/EarthasApple.pdf

  • Ecological Relation--ships 45 min. MACF 6.3Interns were given color coded cards with various organisms which they had to determine which type of relationship two or more organisms shared based on the clues givensee attached power point for details

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Ecological Relationships.pdf

  • Food Pyramid Discussion 20 min MACF 6.3Interns were given a food pyramid and as a class, discussed the various trophic levels and how energy is tranferred from each level to the nextsee attched food pyramid diagram

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Food Pyramid Discussion.pdf

  • Mapping a Food Web 1 hour MACF 6.3Interns were given a chart and numerous cut outs of organisms. Interns received clues and placed organisms in the appropriate order on the chart based on what each organism eats. see attached documents

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Mapping a Food Web.pdf

  • Bioaccumu-lation Game 30 min. MACF 6.3Interns engaged in a game in which fake money was used to represent energy transferring see attached lesson plan

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Bioaccumulation Game.pdf

  • Web of Life 30 min. MACF 6.3Interns were assigned roles and asked to become part of a food web. Interns created a food web and discussed relationships and changes in the web see attached lesson plan for materials list

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Web of Life.pdf

  • Bingo time varies MACF 6.3Interns played bingo in order to reinforce terms associated with ecology unitsee attached documents

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Bingo.pdf

  • Exploring Careers Lecture (2)1 hour lessonsStudents explored roles they may play as members of the New Bedford youth community and what volunteer efforts they may take part in as a means of exploring career interests. Interns gained an understanding of the various career pathways that exist within the scope of their summer internship at the Ocean Explorium and the opportunities that exist within the Southcoast Region.
    Presentation by Career Instructor, Valerie Alves outlining the many volunteer efforts that happen in the City of New Bedford throughout the year where youth may volunteer their time to fullfill required community service graduation requirements. Overview shows links to higher learning opportunities that are required to venture out into the world of work in the many career pathways they learned about hands-on.

Instructional Techniques

  • Vocabulary introduction and integrationinterns created word splashes, crosswords, word searches, index cards, sentences, notes, models, and sketches, using vocabulary
  • Question and Answer Sessionsinterns had an opportunity to ask questions on content and exhibits
  • Open Response AssessmentsInterns wrote responses to various prompts and were given opportunities to discuss responses
  • ReadingInterns were given opportunities to read marine related literature with the objective of acquiring knowledge of Ocean Explorium exhibits
  • Speaking Interns were given opportunities to guide Ocean Explorium guests through exhibits providing guests with background information on aquatic animals and assisting guests with exhibit interactives
  • WritingInterns were asked to respond in writing to many prompts in addition to writing content and research notes
  • Tour AdministrationInterns prepared for and conducted Ocean Explorium tours for the public
  • Hands-on ActivitiesInterns made water cycle models, interactive felt-boards, facilitated touch-tank education handling marine animals with great care, role playing, simulation activities, Envirolab Trip, New England Aquarium, Museum of Science
  • Project-based LearningInterns constructed water cycle models,and interactive felt-boards
  • LabsInterns conducted lab experiments and also worked with the Ocean Explorium aquarists which required interns to assist with aquarium tank maintenance
  • Lecture/note takingInterns wrote notes during lecture and guest speaker sessions
  • ReflectionsInterns were asked to respond in writing and in discussion to various prompts which encouraged reflection on activities

Assessment Techniques

  • Performance AssessmentInterns conducted Ocean Explorium exhibit tours, Interns administered interactive micro-teach lessons to Ocean Explorium guests, Interns presented aspects of interactive felt-boards to Ocean Explorium guests.

    Interns engaged in classroom activities each day from 8:30 am - 11:30 am. Activities included all the lessons described above as well as field trips and guest speakers.

    From the hours of 12:00- 2:00 Monday through Thursday, interns also served as Ocean Explorium office clerks,aquarists, and exhibit tour guides. This required interns to learn biology content as well as researching detailed background information on marine animals.

    Interns were required to read about animals, write notes, ask questions, and speak to Ocean Explorium guests in order to educate the public on marine life exhibits.
    Student evaluations were completed by work site supervisors and reviewed with the youth. Evaluations were used as a means to promote positive yet realistic feedback regarding job skills requirements, job expectations, and employment educational opportunities that may exist. In addition, all feedback focused on work related situations, measurable ways employees can improve,
    and examples of how to engage youth in positive problem solving exercises which in turn will promote self confidence and job readiness skills.

    See attached WBLP for assessment objectives

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/WBLP.pdf

  • Product AssessmentInterns created interactive felt-boards to be used as an education tool on the Ocean Explorium WOW Mobile, Interns created a water cycle model,Interns collected classroom and exhibit information and organized all lesson materials in a binder

    Interns were asked to design and create interactive felt-boards to be used as an education tool on the Ocean Explorium`s WOW Mobile.(see attached photos)

    Interns were responsible for conducting research on their respective marine habitat and the organisms existing within the habitat.

    Interns were also asked to create and administer an interactive lesson to use in conjunction with the felt-boards. Interns worked in pairs to construct both the felt-board and lesson plan.Interns were given a total of 9 hours to research the habitat and organisms, design and construct the felt board, and create the lesson plan.
    The felt boards provide great visuals which can be used to cover numerous standards within the Biodiversity and Ecology MACF strands.
  •  /project140_7762/Summer in Learning Habitat Boards 001.jpg/project140_7762/Summer in Learning Habitat Boards 002.jpg/project140_7762/Summer in Learning Habitat Boards 003.jpg/project140_7762/Summer in Learning Habitat Boards 004.jpg/project140_7762/Summer in Learning Habitat Boards 005.jpg/project140_7762/Summer in Learning Habitat Boards 006.jpg
  • MiscellaneousInterns engaged in various forms of assessments requiring them to respond in writing and verbally, please consult section 4 of this project documentation to read about the different types of activities interns participated in to reinforce content. Press release attached.

    View/Download File: /project140_7762/Summer Work & Learning

Tags = marine | Subject = Science, Service_Learning | Grade Level = HS | Time Period = | Program/Funding = 596/597 |
Direct website link to this project: