Science teachers throughout the state and nation now have a website, based on the award-winning Fluid Earth/Living Ocean aquatic science curriculum, where they can investigate, discover, evaluate, communicate and learn about marine science.
The Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum, which examines coastal and ocean sciences by studying the influence of water on the planet, was developed to be useful to teachers of any subject. It covers topics in marine science at the middle and high school level, and since many middle and high schools do not offer their students any classes in marine science, the information provides a unique opportunity for teachers who concentrate on subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics to utilize portions of the curriculum in their classroom.
Exploring Our Fluid Earth is a product of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Curriculum Research and Development Group, College of Education in collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program.
For over three years, 75 teachers statewide have been rigorously testing and providing feedback on the curriculum in preparation for its release. It was debuted at the National Marine Educators Association conference in Rhode Island in July 2015, and was just released to the general public at the Exploring Our Fluid Earth website.
“We are extremely excited to have the Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum site live to the public,” said Kanesa Duncan Seraphin, director of the UH Sea Grant College Program Center for Marine Science Education and associate professor at the Curriculum Research and Development Group. “Online curriculum is still relatively new in general, and we are researching how educators use our marine science material. We are especially interested in looking at how educators in non-marine science courses approach the text and activities as the curriculum is designed to help integrate marine science topics into core science courses. We are also looking forward to seeing how educators in the state—and across the nation—interact with each other in the teacher community portion of the site. We encourage educators to check back often as the site will continue to grow rapidly in the coming year!”
Connecting aquatic science concepts to the real world
The curriculum content is organized into six modules, which include activities, question sets, videos, special features and teacher resources for use in the classroom or in informal educational settings. Through the site, teachers and students of all ages can connect aquatic science concepts to the real world, such as through the weird science special feature (which highlights strange and interesting facts, practices and anomalies of science and the natural world) and a traditional knowledge special feature (which explores historical and current practices of investigating the natural world from a cultural perspective).
The free, interactive teacher community was created to be a place where teachers can rate activities, comment on modules and upload worksheets or other resources that fellow teachers can use. It provides the capacity for teachers to share materials and reflect together on their professional practice. For a limited time, a suite of teacher’s guides which offer additional tips, tricks, background information, and videos are available for a reduced fee of $35.