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September 2000

Ace on the Case: Secrets @ Sea
http://www.secretsatsea.org/
GRADE LEVEL: 3-8

CONTENT:
This interactive online game explores an ocean theme. It is hosted by the Vancouver Aquarium and is free for classroom or individual use.

AESTHETICS:
Colorful graphics and a mystery format make this site engaging for students. Users need the Macromedia Flash Player for viewing and can download it from the site.

ORGANIZATION:
Navigation through the site is simple. Users begin with Chapter 1 and progress through the mystery until they solve it. Buttons to Quit the game and return to the homepage, the Field Guide, or the Notebook are available at the bottom of each page.

REVIEW:
Are you looking for engaging activities to spice up your ocean-theme units? This entertaining and educational simulation puts students in the role of Ace, "assistant investigator to Paula Pacific, who is assigned to examine unusual behaviors noticed in killer whale populations." Students explore such topics as killer whales, salmon, food webs and chains, pollution in a marine environment, estuaries, and tides and currents while collecting clues to solve the mystery. An online Field Guide helps clarify concepts and vocabulary as students collect the clues. A comprehensive online Teacher's Guide provides suggestions for incorporating the game into the curriculum, extension activities, and resources for teaching ocean themes. Students will be anxious to dive into this site!

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