Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE California
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MARE Center @ Scripps

A MARE Center @ Scripps was created as a part of our first COSEE California funding, and continues to be operated by educators and scientists at Scripps. This regional ocean education Center focuses on increasing awareness of K—12 schools and their communities to ocean-related issues and opportunities.This initiative:

  • Builds on the MARE National Network, creating high visibility, month-long showcases for ocean science education in schools.
  • Utilizes exemplary curriculum, professional development, and a well-documented whole-school immersion model that creates ocean science learning environments for all, including English language learners.
  • Integrates ocean scientists with the school community and their families, to provide a dynamic vehicle for communicating cutting-edge ocean research.
  • Creates a new middle school component that builds on the MARE program and the successes of the MATE Center’s ROV-building competition.

Ocean Immersion in K–12 Schools

Ocean Immersion Centers provide:

  • A transportable implementation model, relevant both within California and nationally, that significantly increases the amount of ocean-related material taught in K–12 classrooms;
  • Numerous vehicles for the involvement of ocean scientists conducting current research, with K–12 schools and their communities
  • Appreciation for and access to local marine habitats, institutions, marine-career information and resources, by the entire school and parent community
  • Dissemination of trial-tested, exemplary marine science curricula and supporting programs within K–12 classrooms
  • Professional development at Olive Elementary School prepared teachers to lead Ocean Month events for the past two years.

Ocean Month at Olive Elementary
Olive Elementary, located in the San Diego County’s Vista Unified School district, has celebrated Ocean Months for the past two years. They have developed exciting kick-off events that start their month’s festivities including Ocean Month assemblies, ocean murals featuring the habitats of the MARE curriculum, a bilingual sing-along featuring "Octopus" and "Down by the Bay". Highlights have included a visit from the Birch Aquarium at Scripp’s van--complete with a giant whale and other sea creatures (costumed volunteers). Students each receive their own Ocean Month t-shirt.

Highlights of Olive's Ocean Month included:

  • Student rotations among their grade level teachers to learn a variety of lessons about their habitat throughout the month.
  • Kindergartners created live pond habitats and made paper pond murals in their classrooms. They learned about water and water homes.
  • First graders visited the rocky seashore at low tide and had the Birch Aquarium staff visit with live sea creatures. They made rocky seashore murals in their classrooms.
  • Second graders took a field trip to the Birch Aquarium and participated in an "I love a Clean San Diego" beach clean-up at Oceanside Pier. They investigated what kinds of things might wash up on a sandy beach.
  • Third graders took field trips to a local lagoon and a fish hatchery. They learned all about mollusks, birds, and crayfish.
  • Fourth graders enjoyed studying real fish and experienced "adaptation" when turning a student into a fish via fish costumes. They also visited the Birch Aquarium to see a real kelp forest.
  • The fifth grades enjoyed dissecting squid and studying marine plankton and whales.
  • As a culmination, over 1000 members of the school community, including students, family members, teachers, administrators, and local scientists have come together for an Ocean Month grand finale. Birch Aquarium scientists were on hand to teach about whale acoustics and deep sea fishes, and different grade levels set up activities from their habitat theme. Principal Hector Menchaca and assistants prepared a hot dog dinner for all and local musicians provided entertainment.