> Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 22, Number 3, Supplement

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Volume 22 | Number 3 | Supplement | September 2009

Teaching Physical Concepts in Oceanography:
An Inquiry Based Approach


Authors | Citation | About | Table of Contents | Full Report | Videos





Authors

Lee Karp-Boss | School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Emmanuel Boss | School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Herman Weller | College of Education and Human Development, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

James Loftin | School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Jennifer Albright | College of Education and Human Development, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

The authors are affiliated with the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence-Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS), Darling Marine Center, University of Maine, Walpole, ME, USA

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Citation

Karp-Boss, L., E. Boss, H. Weller, J. Loftin, and J. Albright. 2009. Teaching Physical Concepts in Oceanography: An Inquiry Based Approach. Oceanography 22(3), supplement, 48 pp, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.supplement.01.

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About

This supplement to Oceanography magazine focuses on educational approaches to help engage students in learning and offers a collection of hands-on/minds-on activities for teaching physical concepts that are fundamental in oceanography. These key concepts include density, pressure, buoyancy, heat and temperature, and gravity waves. We focus on physical concepts for two reasons. First, students whose attraction to marine science stems from an interest in ocean organisms are typically unaware that physics is fundamental to understanding how the ocean, and all the organisms that inhabit it, function. Second, existing marine education and outreach programs tend to emphasize the biological aspects of marine sciences. While many K–12 activities focus on marine biology, comparatively few have been developed for teaching about the physical and chemical aspects of the marine environment (e.g., Ford and Smith, 2000, and a collection of activities on the Digital Library for Earth System Education Web site [DLESE; http://www.dlese.org/library/index.jsp]). The ocean provides an exciting context for science education in general and physics in particular. Using the ocean as a platform to which specific physical concepts can be related helps to provide the environmental relevance that science students are often seeking.

The activities described in this supplement were developed as part of a Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) collaboration between scientists and education specialists, and they were implemented in two undergraduate courses that targeted sophomores, juniors, and seniors (one for marine science majors and one including both science and education majors) and in four, week-long workshops for middle- and high-school science teachers.

Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE), grant number OCE-0528702. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

Permission is granted to reprint this publication in whole or in part for any noncommercial, educational uses. The Oceanography Society requests that the original source be credited.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ........................................................................................................................1

Chapter 1. Density.............................................................................................................. 4
       Encouraging Students to Ask Questions: A Walk Through a Rich Environment..........12

Chapter 2. Pressure .........................................................................................................14
       Discrepant Events: Awakening Students' Curiosity ....................................................24

Chapter 3. Buoyancy.........................................................................................................25
       Assessing Student Learning.......................................................................................31

Chapter 4. Heat and Temperature.....................................................................................32
        Team-Based Learning ..............................................................................................42

Chapter 5. Gravity Waves.................................................................................................44

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Full Report

English
teaching_phys_concepts.pdf (2.1 MB; revised 6-28-2010)
teaching_phys_concepts_hi.pdf (print quality; 27 MB; revised 6-28-2010)

Español
teaching_phys_concepts-ESP.pdf (2.1 MB; revised 6-28-2010)
teaching_phys_concepts_hi-ESP.pdf (print quality; 27 MB; revised 6-28-2010)

Catalan
teaching_phys_concepts-CAT.pdf (2.1 MB; revised 6-28-2010)
teaching_phys_concepts_hi-CAT.pdf (print quality; 27 MB; revised 6-28-2010)

French
teaching_phys_concepts-FR.pdf (2.1 MB; 8-11-2010)
teaching_phys_concepts_hi-FR.pdf (print quality; 27 MB; 8-11-2010)

Single printed copies of the original English version are available upon request from info@tos.org.

Permission is granted to reprint this publication in whole or in part for any noncommercial, educational uses. The Oceanography Society requests that the original source be credited.

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Videos

Videos that accompany the activities in this booklet are available at http://cosee.umaine.edu/programs/courses/UMaine491.

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