
A
Brief Overview of the Mathematical Relevance of Information
and Materials used During the GoMOOS Educator's Workshop
 Lakisha Mundon
Overview
During the week long education workshop focused on integrating
oceanography into all k12 curriculums, mathematics instruction
proved to be relevant, necessary, and effective. The materials
used during this workshop, such as ImageJ, Phytopia, and the
Gulf of Main Ocean Observing System(GoMOOs) website were valuable
tools used to develop and implement a thematic unit in oceanography
or a more specific subtopic such as Phytoplankton. ImageJ
is a program that allows the user to explore remote sensing
data. Phytopia is an educational CD developed and produced
by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. It is very studentfriendly;
exploring various species of phytoplankton. The GoMOOs website
provides hourly weather and oceanography data for the Gulf
of Maine. This constant updating of ocean data provides educators
to use realtime, real life data to explain the everchanging
activity in the ocean.
Mathematical Relevance
The middle school curriculum is designed to provide interdisciplinary
lessons in attempts to stimulate students and keep them interested
in the teaching and learning process. This is especially true
with mathematics and science. The "Linking the Ocean
to the Classroom" workshop provided the perfect opportunity
for mathematics and science teachers to collaborate and effectively
align learning objectives to create a thematic unit. The unit
of choice is phytoplankton because of its importance in the
ocean as well as in our everyday lives. The relevant mathematical
topics used for this theme are scale drawings of the phytoplankton,
dilations, symmetry, and scientific notation. Other in depth
topics include analyzing and graphing the daily change in
the tidelines (using the GoMoos website) and testing the salinity
of the ocean (at different times and positions). In addition,
everyday mathematical operations and use of measures of central
tendency also add to the mathematical relevance of oceanography.
Summary
Math is Universal! As an educator in a specific discipline
such as math, it is exciting to show students how mathematics
can be found everywhere, even in the ocean. Experiencing a
life of math involves exposure to all subjects including science,
history, communication skills, physical education, and more.
The GoMoos educator’s workshop offered many useful materials
and information sessions designed to intertwine different
disciplines under one theme relating to oceanography. From
there, creative, diverse, and stimulating lesson plans were
produced.
Sample
Mathematics Lesson
"Knowledge is Power: Phytoplankton and Scientific Notation"
Grade
Level:
Middle School Mathematics
Prerequisites:
Basic integer operations
Understanding of Scientific Notation
Lesson
Objectives: TLW:
a) develop flexibility in solving problems by selecting strategies
using estimations, computation, and calculators
b) collect, organize, analyze, and display data to solve problems
Subtopics:
Scale size, dilation, symmetry
Procedure:
Students will use Phytopia CD to explore characteristics of
phytoplankton. From there, students will use knowledge of
scale drawings and scientific notation to draw enlargements.
Compare and contrast . Graph results.


Linking
the Ocean to the classroom
 Nava K. Sutton
The workshop I attended was full of information!! It was exciting
and useful for the classroom. The production of the workshop
was top notch! Every morning we would start off with a good
breakfast and socializing time. It was fun getting to know everyone
by name and face. I am not sure how the group was selected but
there could not have been a better group of educators. Everyone
was on the same page and knew our purpose for attending. Having
the ability to get along with people is the first step to a
successful workshop regardless of the subject. After we would
have our breakfast, it was time for lectures. The main areas
covered were phytoplankton blooms, oceanographic technology,
remote sensing, oceanography, and other ocean observation data
that would be useful in the classroom. The speakers were John
Anderson, (New England Aquarium) Janet Campbell, (COOA) Annette
DeCharon, (Bigelow Lab) Ru Morrison, (COOA) and John Shyka.
(GoMoos)
Each lecturer
discussed ocean productivity at many scales. They talked about
what drives ocean productivity. I was unfamiliar with a lot
of the terms that were used but that did not keep me from
learning. They each presented the lesson as if this was the
first introduction. Plankton are any marine organisms that
are such weak swimmers that they can only drift where tides
and currents take them. There are two kinds of plankton: Phytoplankton
and zooplankton. Phytoplankton are all the plant plankton
which include diatoms and dinoflagellates. Zooplanktons are
all the animal plankton such as krill and copepods. Plankton
drifts freely and is moved by ocean currents. All plankton
are small, some are microscopic. Plant members of the plankton
group do not live much deeper than approximately 200 meters
because they need sunlight to produce food. Animal members
are found at all depths in the ocean but are most abundant
in the surface and near surface waters. The main nutrients
needed to grow phytoplankton are silicates, nitrates and phosphates.
There are three parts to understanding oceanography. Physical,
Chemical, and Biological oceanography. The physical deals
with stratification, chemical deals with the nutrients needed
and biological deals with the phytoplankton at the surface
of the ocean. Stratification is the layers of water floating
on top of the water. This rapid change in density is influenced
by salinity. There are other factors that affect phytoplankton.
These factors include sunlight, winds, currents, temperature,
and nutrients.
After
getting the basic information on phytoplankton, we visited
three laboratories where phytoplankton is collected. We saw
the instruments used to collect the phytoplankton and how
the water quality is tested. That was good information until
we had the opportunity to go on the boat they used to collect!!
Everyone was so excited about the cruise. We even had a chance
to see seals bathing in the sun. The most exciting event was
using the equipment! The lab technicians were readily available
in case we did something wrong. We were taught exactly how
to test water and collect plankton!
During
the end of the session, each grade level had to develop a
lesson plan we would use in our classrooms from the information
learned. There was too much information to put in the paper
but I hope you understood the most of the workshop. The night
before each grade level had to present, we spent time making
posters and power point presentations. Everyone was helping
each other and the socializing time was awesome. There was
an abundance of handouts, tutorials, worksheets and much more
that everyone should be able to use in the classroom.
I am going
to take the information and run with it! I cannot wait until
it is time to discuss oceanography in my classroom. The energy
the lecturers had in presenting the workshop is the same energy
I will use to present to my students. Every handout, every
tutorial program and every worksheet provided will be used
in some form. I would advise any science teacher to attend
a workshop as such.


