Principal Investigator: Dan Barstow and James (Jim) Hammerman

Funders: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) contracted with TERC to conduct a nationwide needs assessment of K-12 teachers to review science education standards and to develop a series of high school science curriculum modules related to estuaries.

The needs assessment, conducted in the spring of 2007, surveyed over 1000 teachers and other educators providing a wealth of information about how science content related to estuaries is currently taught and the sorts of supports and obstacles teachers are working with in teaching more about estuaries. Download a copy of the report, The State of Estuarine Education: K-12 Needs Assessment, here.

The four modules focus on life sciences, earth sciences, and physical/chemical sciences, as well as an integrated module exploring a specific location — Chesapeake Bay. Activities use inquiry techniques and emphasize data exploration with a variety of online tools. Estuaries 101 curriculum materials can be downloaded here.

The project also reviewed state and national standards to see how they link to the teaching of estuarine-related content. That report, How Learning about Estuaries meets State and National Science Education Standards, can be downloaded here.