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Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. Internet educator Walter McKenzie selected the ten sites listed here, which are among the best on the Web for teaching about oceans.

  1. Aquarius
    This is the home page of an underwater project hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The project is located along a coral reef just off the Florida coast. The site is very current and boasts plenty of archived data, including radio broadcasts, press releases, images, past missions, and lesson plans on buoyancy, pressure, light, and the coral reef. Real-time ocean data is continually updated. There are great connections to the Jason Project, and a new Aquanaut mission started July 10.

  2. Carolina Coastal Science
    This site provides a rich study of coastal life and the challenges humans face in maintaining its ecological balance. Shell Island Dilemma is a nicely designed cooperative learning activity that challenges students to solve a problem involving the threat from a migrating inlet. Lessons using digital images from the site (click on Carolina Coastal Photojournal and Inquiry Images ) are great for group or individual study. Relocating a Lighthouse presents the recent Cape Hatteras lighthouse relocation as a problem-solving dilemma.

  3. Chesapeake Bay Bollide
    The U.S. Geological Survey presents this fascinating examination of an event that happened some 35 million years ago: the impact of an asteroid or comet on Earth's surface, which formed Chesapeake Bay. This Web site leads high school students through the event and then examines the implications on the bay as it exists today. This is scientifically sound and thoroughly compelling scientific detective work.

  4. Chesapeake Bay Link
    Bay Link examines the interaction of humans and the bay through an excellent set of online resources. Those resources include teacher-tested lesson plans that span the content areas, virtual field trips, and two excellent examples of student projects. Consider such well-developed topics as "The Constantly Changing Bay," "The Great Bay Land Grab," and graphing calculator activities using algebra and statistical analysis, natural inverse variations, and a quadratic regression lab. The classroom resources housed here, combined with the collections of Internet bookmarks offered, make this site an excellent teacher resource.

  5. COAST
    COAST (Consortium for Oceanographic Activities for Students and Teachers) brings together a superior collection of classroom materials for ocean study. The visualization modules on biota and physical and chemical processes use excellent graphic organizers and Web technologies to present high school-level content. The resource guide actually divides the material into elementary and secondary sections for ease of use. The technologies discussed in these sections are truly advanced and challenging for students of any age.

  6. Dive and Discover
    Funded by the Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute and the National Science Foundation, Dive and Discover recently finished a month and a half expedition through the Pacific Ocean west of Central America, seeking volcanic eruptions along a mid-ocean ridge. Each day of the adventure is chronicled through updates, journal entries, weather reports, interviews, and related high-interest topics. Users who couldn't follow the trek in real time can immerse themselves in the journey through this awesome site! Expedition 4, a search for hypothermal vents along the floor of the Indian Ocean, will take place in the spring of 2001!

  7. Mi-Net
    The Marine Institute offers educational resources for studying the oceans in a comprehensive K-12 resource for teachers and students. Users will find 24 topics covered here, each offering a different perspective on marine life. For example, the oceanography section not only defines the discipline but also differentiates between different kinds of oceanography: physical, chemical, meteorological, biological, geological, and more!

  8. Tracking Drifter Buoys
    This site, from NASA's Athena Project, has a simple design and a useful purpose. Global Lagrangian Drifters and the manner in which they are used to track ocean currents worldwide are described in detail. For example, Find the Gulf Stream offers data that can be especially useful in the classroom for study and application. The use of spreadsheets in the student activities is an excellent way to use technology to facilitate learning about the oceans.

  9. Perspectives of an Ocean Planet
    This NASA initiative offers a free CD ROM that contains more than an hour of digital video, audio, images, and text captions about TOPEX/POSEIDON, which measures the global ocean topography every ten days. Users can also check out other resources NASA offers.

  10. Remarkable Ocean World
    Sean Chamberlin's online odyssey beneath the seas is the most impressive oceans site I have encountered. Visitors will find online courses, current ocean information, a fun zone that brings together archives of sounds and images, and a Kid's Stuff link that provides games, puzzles, and additional Internet resources. Chamberlin obviously loves his work, and the page continues to evolve. If you're interested in ocean studies, you'll be pleased with what this site has to offer!

Walter McKenzie
Education World®
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