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Sea Seekers Lesson for Middle School

Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences:
South Carolina State University science undergraduate students mentored middle school students from Felton Laboratory School and engaged in field experiences and research projects designed to teach oyster habitats, water quality, and estuarine ecosystems. Both students and mentors interacted with local marine scientists from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the NOAA Hollings Marine Laboratory to learn essential science concepts and how to design authentic science investigations. Click on the below links to view the five research investigation conducted by the students and their results.

Sea Seekers Lessons

Lesson 1 - Where do Rivers go?
 (PDF, 593 KB)
Students will determine key uses of the land in the watershed and infer the impact of land uses on the estuary’s water quality and its inhabitants.
Lesson 2 - Changing of the Tides in a South Carolina Estuary (PDF, 702 KB)
Students plot high and low tidal data points using a tide chart. Students will make predictions from their graph.
Lesson 3 - Salinity Cycles in an Estuary (PDF, 317 KB)
Students will interpret and compare graphs and tables to relate and predict salinity changes to the tide cycle.
Lesson 4 - Using Density to Predict Estuarine Salinity (PDF, 198 KB)
Students apply their understanding of density to determine differences in four unknown salt solutions, using critical thinking skills, testing and observations.
Lesson 5 - Changing Salinityin an Estuary (PDF, 196 KB)
Students will investigate how different salinities affect living cells.
Lesson 6 - "Home Sweet Home" in the Intertidal Zone (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Students will explore the biotic and abiotic characteristics of the intertidal zone.
Lesson 7 - How do Mud Snails find Food? (PDF, 625 KB)
Students investigate senses through the feeding behaviors of mud snails and design their own test apparatus.
Lesson 8 - Effect of Temperature on an Oyster’s Heart Rate (PDF, 755 KB)
Students investigate the effect of water temperature on the metabolic rate of a cold blooded invertebrate, the oyster.
Lesson 9 - Size Patterns in an Oyster Cluster (PDF, 411 KB)
This is a measuring and analysis lab activity in which students determine size variations within an oyster cluster.
Lesson 10 - Oyster Reefs and their Inhabitants (PDF, 794 KB)
Students use observations to investigate the differences among two oyster clusters.
Lesson 11 - Oysters and Estuarine Water Quality (PDF, 380 KB)
This lab-based activity engages students in observational research. It builds on their experiences with an estuarine organism, the oyster.
Lesson 12 - Food Webs in the Estuary (PDF, 249 KB)
An interactive gaming activity that illustrates the complexity of the estuarine food webs

Sea Seekers Powerpoint (PDF, 3.73 MB)
An introductory powerpoint to estuaries and coastal South Carolina

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0703702. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).