In an effort to learn more about the intertidal in Hawaii, the 9th grade Marine Sciences class at the Education Laboratory School carried out field surveys of 5 rocky intertidal sites around the island of Oahu in the spring of 2003. To our knowledge, this was the first large-scale attempt to characterize Oahus intertidal flora and fauna. Graduate students from UH Botany and Zoology departments and the Bernice P. Bishop Museum assisted our class with lectures, field trips and species identifications. We collected some 330 species of macro algae, invertebrates and fish.
We had both scientific and educational goals for the project. Our major educational objective was to give the students the opportunity to participate in real scientific research. Students took part in planning, preparing, carrying out the surveys, making initial species identifications, and analyzing data. Many animals were kept for the duration of the semester in a classroom tank so the students would have a chance to observe them up close. The students direct experience with the organisms was critical to classroom studies of symbiosis, competition, predation, food webs and human impacts on the environment as well as to a project that involved taking scientific photographs and writing as well as art and creative writing. Click here for Picturing Science.
It was our intention to:
- generate enthusiasm for and confidence in doing science
- practice thoughtful and rigorous science
- create awareness of a local ecosystem
- increase understanding of the basic concepts in marine science, ecology and taxonomy
Links with the details on our project: safety rules for students; plans, protocols and tools needed for collecting; logistics of intertidal field trips; resources for species identification; pre- and post assessment of students learning; samples of student work will be posted in the future.
We realize that very few schools have the luxury of dedicating an entire semester to a research project such as ours. It was also our intention to use this semesters experience to create a series of classroom and field activities that could be used by any teacher interested in marine science. We encourage teachers to use the intertidal as a resource for inquiry-based learning; several activities were developed for teacher-training workshops in spring 2003. We anticipate developing more plans as we enter the second year of the project. Specifically, we plan to develop an intertidal monitoring program for Hawaii high schools based on a similar program used in the Monterey Bay that schools could participate in as a single field trip.
The following marine science lesson plans, developed by GK-12 students this year and in previous years, can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the following links. We encourage you to email us with suggestions and ideas from your own classroom experiences.
- Algae handout
- Where Snails Go
- Salt water tanks for the classroom
- Making an anemone tank
- Fish behavior
- Water loss in the intertidal