Preparing teachers to teach ocean science


Ten teachers from across Maine had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest in ocean sciences at a week-long training program at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences this summer. During the sixth BLOOM Educators' Program, "Exploring Oceanography," Maine middle and high school science teachers participated in a hands-on esearch experience and the chance to collaborate with scientists on the design of classroom activities. The goal of the workshop was to equip teachers with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to integrate aquatic science (freshwater or marine) topics into their existing science curriculum. The tool kits included a water sampler, Secchi disc, refractometer (salinity determination), temperature and light data logger, plankton sampling net (including weights), slides, sample bottles, clipboard, laminated sampling instructions, and cell counters.

Bigelow Laboratory researchers Dr. David Fields and Dr. Nicole Poulton led the program, which helps teachers be better equipped to share knowledge about complicated ocean science issues with their students -- from the fundamentals of ocean science to providing local and global context. A unique aspect of the program is that the ten educators not only receive curriculum materials, but they are offered follow-up support during the academic year.

"Our goal is to enhance teachers' understanding of the ocean, how it works, what lives in it, and how it is changing so that they can take this knowledge and share it more effectively with their students, " explains Fields. "Given that the ocean is so vital to our economy and way of life here in Maine, a greater focus on ocean science is a winning situation for everyone involved."

The ten Maine teachers who participated in the 2015 "Exploring Oceanography" BLOOM Educator's Program are: Celeste Frisbee: Traip Academy, Kittery James Kary: Chewonki Semester School, Wiscasset Kimberly Scantlebury: Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport Micah Depper: Harpswell Coastal Academy, Harpswell Janet Perry: Ashland District High School, Ashland Emily Cohn: Vinalhaven School, Vinalhaven Carrie Emerson: Sacopee Valley High School, Hiram David McKechnie: North Haven Community School, North Haven Kate Miller: Greely Middle School, Cumberland Center Jeff Cleaveland: Hall-Dale High School, Appleton