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Lesson Plans

Please do not hesitate to provide feedback based on your classroom experiences. Each lesson is well developed using the PDF format. The focus for each lesson plan is summarized to help you plan the best work for you.

Sharks ... A Critical Part of the Coral Reef

Sharks have a notorious reputation for movies, news and social media. This lesson permits students to explore and understand the role of sharks in a coral reef ecosystem. This lesson was created by our very own 2016 Teacher Under the Sea, Roy Bartnick - 5th grade Math, Science, Social Studies, and Robotics teacher at Chisholm Elementary in Enid, Oklahoma. Roy joined the science team at Aquarius and served as a science translation mission specialist during the 'Impacts of Sharks on Coral Reefs' mission at Aquarius in the fall of 2016. This project was made possible by the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Download our lesson on sharks

 

Aquarius Aquanaut Adventure: A Narrative Writing

Students will be able to research the Aquarius undersea lab as well as train missions. Students will also be able to imagine themselves as writers and write a narrative describing their adventure. This lesson was created by our very own 2015 Teacher Amy Vinglish - English and Creative Writing Teacher in Altoona High School Area in Ebensburg, PA. Amy served as a science translation mission specialist during the 'Impacts of Sharks on Coral Reefs' mission at Aquarius in November 2015. This project was made possible by the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Download our narrative writing lesson
 

Only in the Ocean

This lesson is main objective is to demonstrate how to live in a city that lives in a city that meets their basic needs. This lesson was created by our very own 2015 Teacher Under the Sea, Hillary Kassel - K-1 teacher at Ocean Studies School Charter in Plantation Key, Florida. Hillary served as a science translation mission specialist during the 'Impacts of Sharks on Coral Reefs' mission at Aquarius in November 2015. This project was made possible by the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Download this lesson on ocean habitats

 

Build a Coral Reef System

Students will create a healthy coral reef then add his / her organism to the building of a healthy coral reef. Andrea Williams - Director of Admissions at Feynman School in Bethesda, MD. Andrea served as a science translation mission specialist during the 'Impacts of Sharks on Coral Reefs' mission at Aquarius in November 2015. This project was made possible by the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Download our lesson on healthy coral reefs

Habitat Monitoring

Students will be able to understand the purpose and process of habitat monitoring. This lesson was created by our own 2015 Teacher Under the Sea, Martha Loizeaux - K-5 Marine Science Teacher at Ocean Research School Charter in Plantation Key, Florida. Martha served as a science translation mission specialist during the 'Impacts of Sharks on Coral Reefs' mission at Aquarius in November 2015. This project was made possible by the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Download our lesson on habitat monitoring

Adventure Beneath the Sea

Beneath the Sea: Living in an Underwater Science Station documents an Aquarius mission in the early 2000s. The purpose of the expedition was used as a permanent home. The book features the photography of National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry.

 

Simulating Microgravity with Buoyancy

This lesson explores how to simulate microgravity environments.

Download the Simulating Microgravity lesson

National Marine and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuaries

Five lesson plans available for download from NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries.

Visit NOAA now for lesson plans and teaching materials

Designing an Underwater Habitat for Humans

Students will be able to identify the basic needs for human life in a non-terrestrial environment. They will also be challenged to use critical thinking skills to make the best use of their lives. Students must also identify and mitigate safety risks.

Download the lesson plan on Designing an Underwater Habitat

 

NOAA Ocean Exploration Education Materials

NOAA provides lesson plans, activities and curriculum materials focused on ocean exploration.

NOAA Visit for educational and professional resources

Archimedes' Principle

How do you drink, pressure, and light affect the work of underwater scientists? Archimedes' Principle is investigated, students compare and contrast atmospheric and underwater pressure, and is affected by it.

Aquarius Reef Base Crossword Puzzle - Dive in to the lesson!

Pipeline to the Coral Reefs

How is the condition of coral reefs affected by physical oceanographic processes? Students will define and describe internal waves and analyze and discuss the effect of high nutrient concentrations on the condition of coral reefs in Florida. An internal wave movie is available based on real data collected from Conch Reef.

Download the Pipeline to the Coral Reefs lesson

Petite Partners Packing Powerful Punches

How can high densities of corals survive in an environment that has low concentrations of planktonic prey? How do many corals respond to stress caused by high water temperature during summer months? A PowerPoint supplement (in PDF format) is available with this lesson plan: Nutritional Boosts in the Marine Environment. Also available is an Excel Spreadsheet to use with the data that includes extensive information and instructions about how to analyze the data.

Designing an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Build a model AUV and investigate the engineering principles behind the design of underwater robots, and how they relate to locomotion in aquatic animals like fishes, sea turtles, and whales.

Learn how to design your own AUV

Are you Concentrating?

Students will be able to explain the importance of concentration gradients and flow velocity (the movement of water) to the nutrition of reef–building corals.

Download lesson on concentration gradients and flow velocity

Counting FishStix

Students will learn how scientists estimate the population size of different fish groups by collecting and analyzing data from surveys they conduct in the classroom.

Download lesson on collecting and analyzing data

The Good, the Bad and the Nasty Tasting

How do seaweeds and soft–bodied invertebrates living attached to the bottom, where predatory fishes and invertebrates are abundant, avoid being eaten? How do scientists determine the ecological roles of natural products produced by marine organisms? Two PowerPoint supplements (in PDF format) are available with the Good, the Bad and the Nasty Tasting lesson plan:

Design Your Own

What are experimental designs and why are they a critical component of scientific research? What steps are involved in designing a scientific research project?

Download the lesson plan on making your own experimental design

The Aquarius Construction Task (pending)

The construction task focuses on how to achieve a common technical goal. NASA astronauts who participated in aquanauts during Aquarius missions.