Dr. Kareen Borders: PI, Executive Director, STEM Instruction and Outreach, South Kitsap School District and Executive Director of West Sound STEM Network
Dr. Deb Kelley: Co-PI, Professor, School of Oceanography, University of Washington and Director of the Regional Cabled Array, Ocean Observatories Initiative
The classroom units and lessons provided on this site are the products of a pilot program, funded by the National Science Foundation, that brought together a professional learning community of West Sound STEM Network K12 teacher leaders from northwest Washington school districts, and private and Tribal schools, in partnership with University of Washington, School of Oceanography scientists. They engaged in a series of K12 Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) education curriculum development workshops centered on marine science through use of Regional Cabled Array data.
To improve equity and access in K12 environmental literacy across Washington state and to generate K12 understanding of environmental literacy and student interest in STEM, an innovative partnership between West Sound STEM Network and the University of Washington centered relevant learning for teachers through authentic, place-based learning experiences. One of the key components of this work is the commitment to serve students furthest from educational justice and opportunity, including rural populations, Tribes, and students experiencing poverty.
This cohort of middle and high school teachers developed a series of OOI-integrated STEM Units utilizing stunning imagery from the UW Interactiveoceans website and live data from over 150 instruments streaming from the Regional Cabled Array underwater observatory off the coast of Oregon. The use of rigorous and relevant instructional practices and culturally relevant pedagogical design connects students to technology as a tool for meaningful STEM learning and exploration of STEM career pathways.
As part of this effort, this cloud-based platform was developed for teachers and students to easily utilize OOI data and visualizations in the classroom for standards-aligned inquiry-based learning, with access nationwide to build teacher capacity The goal was to generate compelling, engaging content with highly interactive data visualizations to empower teachers and students to gain core knowledge and science inquiry skills about the marine environment. The units meet a series of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
The workshops resulted in the design, and implementation of three teacher-developed, cloud-based educational packages using RCA data that address 1) Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes utilizing the Juan de Fuca Plate and Axial Seamount as prime examples; 2) Geohazards focused on seismicity along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and tsunamis; and 3) Climate change with an emphasis on heat waves. The workshops provided professional development training on RCA science and how to use the relevant data for inclusion in the classroom. Working iteratively with the teachers, University of Washington-supported RCA scientists, graphic designers from the Center for Environmental Visualization (who have previously provided significant OOI content), and a frontend software engineer, generated compelling, engaging content with highly interactive data visualizations to empower teachers and students to gain core knowledge and science inquiry skills about the marine environment.
We invite you to explore the first of these units “Plate Tectonics and Axial Seamount” which includes a series of five lessons using labs and activities to a) Investigating Ocean Floor Structures; b) Plate Tectonics and the Ocean Floor; c) Underwater Volcano Formation, d) Data Collection (by Regional Cabled Array instrumentation); and e) Axial Seamount as a superb example of submarine volcanism and associated processes.
A special thank you to Cape Flattery School District, Central Kitsap School District, Chief Kitsap Academy, North Kitsap School District, Peninsula School District, Port Angeles School District, South Kitsap School District, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, OSPI and Washington STEM. We thank the National Science Foundation, Division of Ocean Sciences for their support (award # OCE 2122351) and the UW Center for Environmental Visualization.