Developing collaboration between ocean scientists and science educators

William Graham, Ph.D.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama

Friday, December 3, 1999
12:00 Noon—Pacific Forum

William Graham is in the background. Stan Arrington, the High School science teacher who participated in the program, is in the foreground. They have just deployed a Tucker Trawlon from the R/V Pelican in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

The foundation of science — the 'scientific method' — is constructed from observation, inquiry and critical thinking. A successful scientist will be quick to admit that these are skills that require continued practice and not techniques that can be learned. Unfortunately, traditional science curricula at either the high school or collegiate levels do not allow students the opportunity to test their skills in science before they make a career choice. Therefore, it would not be surprising that students with natural scientific ability are being lost from science for lack of a fundamental curriculum. This begs a question: Whose responsibility is it to introduce young students to observation and inquiry—high school, undergraduate or graduate programs? The answer should be all of them.

The SEAS Project (Science Education At Sea) was started in 1999 as a means to develop an inquiry-based science education curriculum for the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) by developing close educational partnerships between high school teachers and practicing scientists. This project takes advantage of the unique educational setting of DISL's two main components: The K-12 Discovery Hall Program and the University-level research program. I will present an overview of the SEAS Project's first year and provide insight into ways that professional scientists can interact with high school teachers to foster observation and inquiry in their students.

Next: UV sunscreens in marine organisms- Antipodean adventures on the dark side of sunlight

 Last updated: December 19, 2000