Using Ocean Science Concepts to Address Next Generation Science Standards in the 3rd-5th Grade Classroom
Upper elementary grade levels (3-5) mark a critical juncture in cognitive development when students begin forming individual identities and ideas about the world around them. These grade levels also denote a period in the K-12 educational pipeline when students can become engaged - or not - in learning. In response, COSEE SouthEast launched the South Carolina Amazing Coast (SCAC) Program: a three-year initiative that employed ocean-based examples to engage 3rd - 5th grade students and teachers in science learning.
The SCAC framework used a scaffolding approach for curriculum implementation and a coach-mentor model for teacher professional development. Program content drew from local coastal examples to address inquiry skills, STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) disciplines, and Next Generation Science Standards. The SCAC program fostered opportunities for students to explore local coastal habitats, interact with marine scientists and engage in year-long capstone projects such as salt marsh restoration, weather buoy construction, and remotely operated vehicle design.
COSEE SouthEast assists the COSEE Network with broader impact needs, outreach strategies, and increased efficacy in communicating ocean sciences.