Exploring Seafloor Volcanoes in Cyberspace: NOAA's Ocean Explorer Inspires Inquiry

Journal Article by: Elizabeth Hjelm Digital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Seafloor exploration being done by scientists is an ideal way to introduce students to technology as a tool for inquiry. The same technology that allows scientists to share data in near real time can also provide students the tools to become researchers. NOAA's Ocean Explorer Explorations website is a rich research data bank that can be used by inquisitive middle school students to ask their questions and use the same data scientists do to find answers.

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A selection from Science Scope—Summer 2011

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Reviews (2)
  • on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:24 PM

This article introduces a NOAA website called the ‘Ocean Explorer.” Along with a searchable database of numerous explorations, there are numerous photos of equipment and seafloor scenes on this website. The article however, presents all aspects of a six stage inquiry based activity that can bridge the gap between understanding geology and learning about oceans. Everything is there to learn about ocean seafloors explorations including a rubric.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:46 PM

This lesson flows nicely to introduce students to research on the ocean floor. This lesson presents NOAA's Explorer website that is a fantastic resource. The site is rich with media from NOAA's research. The inquiry lesson is scaffolded with teacher checkpoints to make sure students are on the right path in their research. The article also includes a rubric and the project's expectations are very clearly communicated. Additionally, the author provides some fantastic resources for further teacher professional development such as NOAA's teacher-at-sea program.

Angelika Fairweather  (Bradenton, FL)
Angelika Fairweather (Bradenton, FL)

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