June is National Oceans Month
Did you know that more than 50% of the world’s oxygen is produce by the ocean? It also stores 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. The ocean plays a crucial role in our lives and there are many ways people can help protect it.
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean. Currently there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, and around four billion plastic microfibers litter the deep sea. Plastic impacts 700 species, it has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles.
By implementing waste collection and recycling globally we can not only address the issue of ocean plastic pollution, but can improve public health by preventing the spread of infectious disease, reducing respiratory illnesses from open air burning of waste, and prevent food chain contamination of both livestock and fish and shellfish.
Bacteria, found in the depths of the ocean, are used to carry out rapid testing to detect the presence of COVID-19. Species of robots (ROV) are used to collect samples to study communities and understand what species there are. The diversity of species found in our ocean offer great promise to combat illness and improve our quality of life.
Take a look at the Resources below to see how these ITEST projects are helping our oceans:
Scaling Up Success: Using MATE's ROV Competitions to Build a Collaborative Learning Community that Fuels the Ocean STEM Workforce Pipeline
Uses MATE's underwater robotics competition to engage and support the participation of middle and high school students in STEM. Provides professional development, curriculum, and other resources to teachers. Involves industry professionals and parents.
Promoting Student Interest in Science and Science Careers through a Scalable Place-Based Environmental Educational Program at a Public Aquarium
The Detroit Public Schools will collaborate with the Belle Island Aquarium to develop a field-trip program that will enrich learning in biology, with cross-curricular impacts on chemistry, physics, business, literacy and the arts.
Ocean Explorers: GIS, IPA, and Ocean Sciences for IT Literacy and Skills
With primary project activities completed in August, 2006, Ocean Explorers was a three-year project funded by the Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and implemented by the Center for Image Processing in Education (CIPE). The project employed GIS, digital image analysis, and ocean science as ways of incorporating information technology (IT) into science and mathematics education in California.
Community Platform for Ocean and Climate Education, Careers, and Workforce Development
Students, teachers, and parents from minority and underserved schools will examine how knowledge of remote sensing, ocean, and climate science influence students interest in and preparation for careers in STEM.
Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration of a Keystone Species in New York Harbor
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by expanding and testing an innovative curriculum model that features locally relevant, problem-based learning.
Marine Technology for Teachers and Students (MaTTS)
Over 70 teachers, 1800 high school students and 900 middle school students in urban and suburban RI and CT districts during the course of the program will interact with cutting edge research technologies related to exploring the global ocean.