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2015 Winter Teacher’s Workshop – Coral Reefs and Ocean Acidification  February 12th, 2015

During the Winter Teacher’s Workshop, SMILE Elementary Club teachers were introduced to lessons and content around the topics of coral reefs and ocean acidification.

In the first lesson on coral reefs, Coral Reef Diversity, students are introduced to coral reef ecosystems, the importance of coral, and adaptations coral has made to live in a unique habitat. In the second, Coral Skeletons, students learn how coral shells are formed and the impact of climate change has had on coral reef ecosystems worldwide. In the final lesson, Thermal Expansion, students learn about how warming waters affect the ocean ecosystem.

This presentation on coral reefs was shared by PhD Student Katherine Dziedzic from the Department of Integrative Biology.

In the first lesson on ocean acidification, Whale Jenga, students learn about how changes in the food web might impact the ocean ecosystem. In the second, Lego Shell Building, students are to explore how ocean acidification may make it harder for corals to grow shells. In the third lesson, Marine Osteoporosis, students learn about the effects of acidic oceans on certain marine organisms and the causes of ocean acidification. In the fourth lesson, Ocean Acidification Car Activity, students find out how the burning of fossil fuels in automobiles can introduce CO2 to seawater causing acidification. In the final lesson, Ocean Acidification Demo the students observe first hand CO2 being absorbed into water.

The following presentations on ocean acidification were shared by the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary as part of the workshop ocean acidification:



2014 High School Challenge Recap: Marine Protected Areas  March 14th, 2014

This February was the SMILE program’s 11th annual Ocean Sciences High School Challenge event.  This years event provided 120 students from 10 statewide SMILE clubs with a real world opportunity apply what they learned in their Clubs about the topic of Marine Resource Management.  More than 15 Oregon State University and community partners and 20 undergraduate mentors guided students as they learned about Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) and then used their knowledge to increase community awareness of MPA’s through the creation of interpretive signs, a newscast, and a final presentation.
As part of the challenge, students worked with OSU’s Student Media Services to create newscasts about Marine Protected Areas. Here are a few examples:

The students had only two hours to work with their teams and create their final products and what they were able to come up with was impressive!  We are happy to share some examples of student ingenuity!


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High School Challenge 2014 – Marine Protected Areas  December 12th, 2013

kelp and fish

This year’s High School Challenge event will be held on February 13 and 14, 2014 at OSU, and it will focus on the complex topic of Marine Protected Areas. Here are two introductory lessons that provide a general overview into what Marine Protected Areas are and how they work! Click the titles below to access the lesson plans.

Marine Protected Areas: An Introduction

Marine Protected Areas: Conservation Goals

A Classification System for Marine Protected Areas