Marine Education Resources

For parents, teachers and homeschool programs.


For Teachers - Marine Educational Resources
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Sea Grant Educational Links

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Event Calendar
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Sea Grant's Educational Links for Children and Schools:

Kids Can "Escape" with this Educational Tool

Adopt-a-Boat Links Commercial Fishing Vessels to Classrooms

Parent Child Education Seeks Understanding of Coast and Environment

Learn about Brain-Eating Sea Squirts and More at Hawaii's Fun Site

"Mission to the Abyss," a Virtual Field Trip Set to Visit the Ocean Floor

Recommended Homeschool Resources & Websites

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Homeschool Legal Defense Association


Educational Links for Children and Schools by Sea Grant


A collaborative project between the fishing industry and educators uses commercial fishing boats as a vehicle for teaching students about marine resource utilization, marine ecology and life as a fisherman. The project, funded by the Northeast Consortium, shows K-12 students the importance of the commercial fishing industry to coastal communities.

Last year, the project began with partnerships between eight vessels and ten classrooms from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. This school year, the goal is to expand to 100 partnerships across New England. The partnerships often include both class and boat visits, but project coordinator MIT Sea Grant provides technology where appropriate to bridge the distance between the schools and the boats. Telemetered data, video exchanges, as well as emails between students and fishermen are employed. All costs incurred by fishermen and classrooms as well as the communications hardware are paid for by the Adopt-a-Boat program.

Visit  for more details.

CONTACT: Cliff Goudey, MIT Sea Grant Extension Leader, Center for Fisheries Engineering Research, (O) 617-253-7079, Email:

Brandy Moran, MIT Sea Grant K-12 Education Coordinator, (O) 617-253-5944, Email:


This October, thousands of students will take a virtual field trip to watch scientists venture into the ocean's depths. "Extreme 2002: Mission to the Abyss" will allow students and teachers to follow the action as University of Delaware scientist Craig Cary explores hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. Cary and his team will study the vents and the creatures that inhabit them, including the Pompeii worm. The fleecy, four-inch worm is one of the "hottest" animals on the planet, as it can withstand temperatures of up to 176 degrees F.

Scientists will use the submersible ALVIN and research vessel ATLANTIS to perform their work. As part of the National Science Foundation research, Delaware Sea Grant is helping to sponsor classroom materials that will allow students and teachers to participate in the action.

While the research team explores, students can tune in to an interactive website that will be updated daily throughout the 24-day voyage. More than 450 schools from across the U.S. and several other countries will use the provided resource guides, curricula and video about the deep sea to guide them through Cary's expedition. A select group of classrooms will have the opportunity to participate in a live conference call with the scientists as they conduct research in ALVIN on the seafloor. For more information, visit: .

CONTACT: Tracey Bryant, University of Delaware Sea Grant, Marine Public Education Office, (O) 302-831-8185, Email: ; Craig Cary, Delaware Sea Grant Researcher, Associate Professor of Marine Biology-Biochemistry, University of Delaware, (O) 302- 645-4078, Email:


The University of Southern California Sea Grant Parent Child Education Program (PCEP) is aimed at making basic science concepts approachable and fun for parent and child together as well as developing a sense of environmental stewardship, independent thinking and creative expression through positive action. The Parent Child Education Program is based at an inner city school and participants are primarily Latino and African-American. As a team, parent and child attend a short course in marine/environmental science which focuses on the urban / ocean connection in regards to the Santa Monica Bay. They participate in a field trip to an aquarium and beach sites as well as onboard a research vessel. Learning is synthesized through their culminating project, a science symposium/poster session, which takes place during their Awards Night.

Started as a pilot project in 1999, the program has expanded to include 10 schools during the 2002-2003 school year. Many of its participants have never been to the beach or seen the ocean and have no understanding of how their actions can impact the marine environment. Through the innovative PCEP learning process, the parent-child teams gain an elementary understanding of science and develop an increased regard and sense of responsibility relating to local marine environmental issues.

In addition to achieving a heightened awareness of environmental stewardship, the PCEP introduces effective communication techniques, initiates thoughts of new and exciting future career paths in the marine, health, or social science employment arenas, and fosters a lifelong interest in science and quality of self, family, and home.

CONTACT: Lynn Whitley, Education Coordinator, USC Sea Grant, (O) 213-740-1964,



Interesting and useful information abounds on Hawaii Sea Grant's award-winning Sea Squirt website. First, visitors learn that "after finding a suitable rock or place to call home, juvenile red sea squirts no longer need their brains, so they eat them." Look further into the site, and Sea Squirt offers resources for children and teachers alike.

On one page, Shaka the shark doles out advice for kids visiting the beach. "Don't stand on coral reef," and "Use the restroom, not the ocean," are two of his points. Downloads include a marine activity workbook, several coloring and activity books and marine life icons for your computer. Links for teachers, kids and parents, a quiz to test knowledge of Hawaiian sea life and a virtual aquarium are more features on the site. To visit the Sea Squirt website:

CONTACT: Priscilla Billig, Hawaii Sea Grant Communicator, (O) 808-956-7410, Email:


Oregon Sea Grant education specialists, along with Sea Grant programs in California and Washington and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, want West Coast residents to be on the lookout for aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels, European green crabs, smooth cord grass and Chinese mitten crabs. To achieve their goal, the team is creating Aquatic Nuisance Species Education Boxes that can travel to middle and high school teachers throughout the Pacific Northwest. The project is based on successful educational tools used in the Midwest, such as Minnesota Sea Grant's "Exotic Aquatics" trunk and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant's "Zebra Mussel Mania" traveling trunk.

 The trunks will provide teachers with curriculum and activities for incorporating aquatic invasive species into their science lesson plans. Written materials, slides, video and specimens will all be part of the effort to teach young people what to look for when they visit a lake, beach or river. Once aware of the dangers invasive species pose, students and the general public can use their knowledge to help raise awareness and foster preventive actions throughout their communities.

CONTACT: Paul Heimowitz, Aquatic Ecosystem Health Educator, Oregon Sea Grant Extension, (O) 503-722-6718, Email:


Students in southern Louisiana are taking a hands-on approach to saving their coastal wetlands. Up to 30 square miles of coastal land are lost every year in the state. Through Louisiana Sea Grant's Coastal Roots Program, middle and high school students are using a combination of science and math skills to help restore valuable land and habitat in their own state and show the importance of taking responsibility for the environment. They are raising waxmyrtle, baldcypress and black mangrove trees and then planting them in the gradually declining wetlands. First, students plant seeds of native trees in school nurseries. The next year's class transplants the seedlings to bigger pots and then plants them in the marsh. Many schools have constructed outdoor irrigation systems and cold frames to protect the plants during summer and winter months. Once planted in the marsh, the seedlings prevent erosion from flooding rains and restore damaged wildlife habitat. For more information, visit .

CONTACT: Pamela Blanchard, Louisiana Sea Grant Education Coordinator, (O) 225-578-1558, Email:


Fourth-grade students from more than 26 communities in southeastMichigan, including Detroit, are boarding "schoolships" on Lake St.Clair and the lower Detroit River for an introduction to the uniquefeatures of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Education Program,supported by Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension, uses a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience to stimulate interest in protecting the Great Lakes and its resources. On the two-hour cruises, students learn about concepts such as the aquatic food web, the water cycle, the roles of oxygen and carbon dioxide and the effects of exotic species. Student activities include examining plankton samples, testing water quality, practicing marine knot tying, taking temperature readings and more. They then use the collected data in follow-up classroom experiments and discussion. Aboard the "schoolships," Great Lakes Education Program staff help prepare students for their role as future decision makers responsible for the state's natural resources. More than 37,000 students, teachers and other adults have participated in the program since it began in 1991. The experience has played an important role in stimulating enthusiasm and interest in learning about the Great Lakes and its water resources.

For more information, visit: . CONTACT: Steve Stewart, Michigan Sea Grant Great Lakes Education Program Director, (O) 586-469-7431, Email:


Pennsylvania Sea Grant's award-winning Environmental Rediscoveries Program offers students a hands-on, educational opportunity to explore the unique Presque Isle Bay environment. Aboard the sailing vessel Momentum, students have a chance to become sailors and scientists for a day. While navigating local waters, participants learn about the surrounding ecosystem. They are also introduced to the art of sailing aboard the 42-foot Friendship Sloop. While one group of sailors is busy plotting its course to a sampling site, others are discussing the impact of zebra mussels in Presque Isle Bay.

Students return to shore and analyze their samples, learning important lessons about water quality and pollution as well as the critical role they play as stewards to their environment. The program involves elements of physics, chemistry and navigation, and has reached over 1500 students in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

CONTACT: Anne Danielski, Pennsylvania Sea Grant Coastal Education and Maritime Specialist, (O) 814- 898-6421, Email:


Exotic species can have devastating impacts on ecosystems, and some have caused serious problems affecting the economy. ESCAPE (Exotic Species Compendium of Activities to Protect the Ecosystem) is part of an overall campaign to teach youth about exotic species issues, to explore ways to solve these problems and to help them make responsible decisions as adults. Developed by the Illinois-Indiana, New York, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota Sea Grant programs, ESCAPE is consists of a collection of teacher-developed activities. It uses many instructional strategies like the game, "Rival for Survival," the simulation "Seeing Purple" and news-reporting activity "Great Lakes Grief" to spread its message to children. ESCAPE is a creative way to teach K-12 students and meet National Science Standards at the same time. Its hands-on, multi-disciplinary activities spark curiosity about exotics using real-world problems. Tools such as color, laminated board games, complete with lessons plans, instructions and game cards are just one way for kids to ESCAPE and learn about invasive species.

For more information, visit:

CONTACT: Robin Goettel, Communicator Coordinator, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program, (O) 217-333-9448, Email:  

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