Theme #1: Introduction & Planet “Earth”
Saltwater Classroom workshops begin with a broad introduction to our planet’s oceans. Students learn about the role of our oceans globally, the four major oceans, as well as some history about how our oceans were formed and first explored. The overall goal of the first theme is beginning to place students in the global context necessary when learning about our oceans.
Theme #2: Coast and Coastal Oceans
The focus shifts to coasts and coastal oceans for the second week one theme. Students begin by learning about what exactly the coast is and what makes it special. Students then learn about different coastal environments around the world and the unique set of challenges that these environments, and the animals that call them home, face.
Theme #3: Water World
The third theme centers around topics related to water and science. Students spend some time designing their own experiment to sample and study seawater. Students also learn of the implications of waves and how to measure them. Students take a closer look at water and see the world of plankton and learn about their importance through a creative design challenge.
Theme #4: Marine Life
After learning about the oceans generally, the coast, and the water itself, Saltwater Classroom shifts its focus towards marine life. Students begin by understanding the great diversity of marine life in the ocean and how it is classified. Students are also introduced to different marine habitats. Students learn about fish biology and anatomy and become an expert on a fish species.
Theme #5: Today’s Oceans
At this point, students have a substantial background on many areas of ocean science. With this newfound understanding, we transition to discussing the state of the oceans today and the issues facing it. We begin by brainstorming all the ways humans are connected to the ocean and the issues that arise from this connection. We delve deeper into a few issues in particular, including plastic pollution.
Theme #6: Final Thoughts
The final theme is a conclusion and is designed to be open to allow for change and flexibility based on student interest throughout the program.