The Institute is the perfect place to apply student's knowledge of the physical and biological sciences. All ages and students with varying knowledge bases can apply what they know and take it even further with proper prompts and questioning. The following questions represent a wide range of subjects and would be overwhelming for one visit.
The students can take a walk on the beach. The following questions are based on sense perception.
- Take a deep breath and smell the ocean/beach. What does it smell like? Is this something you have smelled before? Does is remind you of someone or another place? Explain. What might make this beach or ocean smell different from another? How might you know this?
- Did you see any human trash on the beach? If so, how did this make you feel?
- Listen to the roar of the ocean and the sounds of the animals nearby? How does the sound of the ocean make you feel? Does it bring back a memory? Tell us about it.
- Pick up some sand and sea shells. Describe how they feel in your hand. Describe the animal that might have lived in the shell? How do you know?
Point out the high tide water mark on the sand and on the nearby cliffs. Ask the students to observe what objects/animals he/she sees at their feet.
- The ocean shore has high tides and a low tides. What causes the tide to occur?
- How do the tides affect the sea animals?
- How do the tides affect the birds and land animals? Give examples of how you know.
- Think of a time when you at the beach and the tide came in and soaked your "place" on the sand. How can this phenomenon relate to your life?
The following activity uses language as a way of knowing:
Read the quote.
“There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.”
― Dave Barry
- What is Dave Barry saying?
- How does this quote relate to you?
- Based upon your experiences both in the laboratory and out on the ocean what idea or concept can you apply to your life?
In the laboratory the students will pick up and touch small live sea creatures and observe their features.
- What special feature(s) did your animal have that allows it to adapt to its environment?
- Did your sea animal have another animal living on or in it? If so, why do you think this is? What did it feel like?
On the ocean research vessel the students will observe the birds and mammals near the harbor.
- What does the presence of birds indicate to you?
- What evidence do you have for this hypothesis?
- What mammals did you see or hear?
- Most birds have special features that makes them good spotters, or good ocean fishermen, or good land fishermen. Pick a bird and a feature. How does this feature help the bird survive? How do you know this?