RCA Science and Data in K12 Classrooms

Dr. Kareen Borders, Executive Director, STEM Instruction and Outreach, South Kitsap School District and Executive Director of West Sound STEM Network and Dr. Deb Kelley, Professor, School of Oceanography, University of Washington and Director of the Regional Cabled Array, Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) teamed up to bring Regional Cabled Array science and data into K12 classrooms in northwest Washington.

After holding a series of curriculum development workshop, classroom units and lessons are now available on the Regional Cabled Array’s Interactive Ocean website. The teaching tools are are the products of a pilot program, funded by the National Science Foundation, that brought together a professional learning community of West Sound STEM Network K12 teacher leaders from northwest Washington school districts, and private and Tribal schools, in partnership with University of Washington, School of Oceanography scientists. They engaged in a series of K12 Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) education curriculum development workshops centered on marine science through use of Regional Cabled Array data.

This cohort of middle and high school teachers developed a series of OOI-integrated STEM Units utilizing stunning imagery from the OOI/ University of Washington Interactiveoceans website and live data from more than 150 instruments streaming from the Regional Cabled Array underwater observatory off the coast of Oregon. The use of rigorous and relevant instructional practices and culturally relevant pedagogical design connects students to technology as a tool for meaningful STEM learning and exploration of STEM career pathways.

The workshops resulted in cloud-based educational packages that cover Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes utilizing the Juan de Fuca Plate and Axial Seamount as prime examples, geohazards focused on seismicity along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and tsunamis, and climate change with an emphasis on heat waves.  To access and use the workshop material, visit RCA’s link here.