Life and Marine Science: Tracking Live Marine Animals

Target Grade(s): 7-8, or High School

NASA logoDevelopment sponsored by:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA Award: NCC5433)


Follow marine animals (e.g., polar bears, sea turtles, sharks, and whales) in real-time, and apply life and Earth science topics to the ocean. Study topics such as ecosystems, biodiversity, cell structures, food webs, and conservation, as you make connections to ocean currents, seafloor features, density and more. Discover the importance of the ocean to humans, as well as our impacts, both positive and negative, on marine environments. The in-depth use of data lends itself to Next Generation Science Standards by integrating instructional technology with life, Earth and physical science.

Spark students' inquiry using animals as the hook!

Standards-based topic areas include:

Earth Science:

Seasonal Change; Density; Ocean Currents and Heat Transport; Watersheds; Bathymetry; Tides; Temperature and Pressure Changes with Depth; Upwelling

Life Science:

Photosynthesis & Productivity; Cell Structures; Biodiversity; Food Chains & Food Webs; Nutrient Cycling; Biotic & Abiotic Factors; Needs of Living Things; Ecosystems; Adaptations of Organisms; Human Impacts on Ecosystems

Science Process Skills:

Making and Testing Hypotheses; Data Collection; Data Analysis & Graphing; Image Interpretation; Forming Conclusions; Scientific Instruments; Using Models; Measurement

LIVE Online Sessions:

Session 1: Topics: Needs of Ocean Animals & Changes in the Ocean
Session 2: Topics: Ocean Temperature & Biodiversity in the Ocean
Session 3: Topics: Marine Food Chains & Breathing in Water
Session 4: Topic: Analyzing the Movements of Marine Animals

Additional Study:

After the live sessions, participants select from a variety of assignments in order to complete the necessary hours to earn credit for the course. Assignment choices include:

  • Developing lesson plans to dispel students' misconceptions.
  • Creating a case study of the movements of a particular animal.
  • Surveying available scientific research on a particular species.
  • Implementing Signals of Spring II in the classroom and assessing the impact on teaching and learning.

Participants Receive:

  • Access to real-time tracking of marine animals
  • Links appropriate for student research