Engaging Students in Inquiry Using Authentic Ocean Data
To engage in inquiry, students must gain experience in obtaining, analyzing, and interpreting data, yet traditional science instruction has not given students adequate opportunities to truly engage in these practices. Freely available oceanic data sets include sea surface temperature (SST), bathymetry, chlorophyll, pollution, sea ice, salinity, and tracks of animals. Utilizing these and other authentic data sets can make learning experiences more powerful for learners, giving students the opportunity to gain contextual understandings of the applications of science. This article, based on a presentation at International Week 2017, discusses the international importance of ocean literacy, and ways in which employing authentic ocean data can support students’ development of scientific practices and increase their ocean literacy.