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Ocean Discovery is dedicated to teaching the public about local marine habitats, the organisms that inhabit them, and the challenges they face. Our philosophy is that people of all ages enjoy learning through inquiry-based, hands-on methods. Our mission is to educate K-12 and adult communities about their local bays, estuaries, and open coast habitats through activities and tours, awareness of current scientific research, teacher training, and special events. We especially focus on students who through lack of income or distance from the ocean have never experienced the wonders of marine habitats. Our curriculum teaches all types of science (biology, ecology, chemistry, physics) using the ocean for examples. Ocean Discovery also works with other in-kind organizations to alert the public about the challenges facing aquatic habitats, and to inspire the community to become actively involved in current restoration and conservation programs to preserve one of our last "pristine" environments.
Our programs are also designed to introduce students to the scientific method: formation of/asking a scientific question, hypothesis testing, data analysis, and sharing of results. Students actively participate in their learning and incorporate English, Math, and Computer skills to answer questions in marine biology. Ocean Discover y! teaches students how to collect their own data and how to compare it with current scientific research. We believe that the experience of discovery not only increases the students' abilities in all subjects, but also increases their confidence and enthusiasm for learning. In short, students discoverhow to learn! They DO science that goes beyond textbook learning. What an exciting idea!
Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Marine mammals, sharks, invertebrates, algae, food webs, symbiosis, and oceanography.
- Human impacts in marine biology: pollution, over-fishing, introduced species, aquaculture, coastal development, contaminated fresh water runoff from agricultural and ranching farms, global warming, and tidepool trampling.
- Scientific method: observation, question, hypothesis, hypothesis testing, data collection, analysis of data, and sharing results.
All classes and tours are designed to meet the National and State Science Standards.
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