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To Boldly Go...

Mel Goodwin, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

This web-based activity tackles the broad reasons for undertaking ocean exploration - studying the interconnected issues of climate change, ocean health, energy and human health. Students examine the types of technology ocean scientists use to collect important data.

Activity takes three class periods and some time outside the classroom. Computer with Internet access needed.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Increased acidity of oceans and negative impacts on food chain due to increasing carbon dioxide levels
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7d
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Humans live within Earth's ecosystems.
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3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:E) Organizing information
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E) Organizing information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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A) Processes that shape the Earth.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:A) Organisms, populations, and communities
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A) Organisms, populations, and communities.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • If you want to teach this activity at the high school level, replace the Ocean Exploration Game with a group oral presentation or individual research project.
  • Teachers should create a student activity sheet with the learning objectives and urls for the research topics.

About the Science

  • While researching the reasons for undertaking ocean exploration, students learn about ocean research technology, such as underwater robots and mapping tools.
  • In addition, students learn about the technological capabilities aboard the NOAA Oceans Explorer that allow oceanographers to explore the open ocean and gather important data.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Great use of current cruises and findings. Applications for students are very hands on which I think is great because it involves them more and requires them to actually think about what they are learning instead of regurgitating information without application. This material does a great job listing and citing the differences between the many forms of deep sea exploration.

About the Pedagogy

  • As students explore the answer to their group research question, they are introduced to a variety of engaging resources that are visual and/or auditory such as slide shows and podcasts.
  • The activity is middle school level but much of the content is higher level, assuming a good bit of prior knowledge.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • There are multiple web links provided for students to use in gathering the information that they need.
  • There is a video that the teacher uses to start the lesson that is 35 minutes long. It is recommended that teacher download, review, and possibly prepare a shorter segment in advance.

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