Contact: Fred Gorell, 301-734-1021
When Punahou School's K-12 Hawaiian studies teacher Malia Ane signed in at a September 2012 workshop on Oahu, she was the 5,000th teacher to do so since NOAA began the program nine years ago.
Malia Ane, Hawaiian studies teacher at the Punahou School in Honolulu
Ane was the 5000th teacher to participate in a NOAA educator development workshop. Credit: Punahou School
"We love the ocean here in Hawaii," said Ane, "It is an important part of our environment. The idea of the ocean is a great metaphor for ongoing teaching and learning. It has history, and of course, it totally surrounds us here in the islands."
NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) offers the day-long Educator Professional Development workshops to help educators improve their students’ understanding of ocean science through ocean exploration. OER is the only federal program to systematically explore the ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. A number of OER deep-sea expeditions make virtual explorers of those ashore when cameras on undersea remotely-operated vehicles bring live video from the seafloor to audiences in classrooms, newsrooms and living rooms.
"I'm not a trained scientist, so the workshop opened my eyes to a lot of things," said Ane. "The facilitators were very good at going step-by-step to clearly explain the science behind the acidification of waters in the bay. They identified websites I didn't know existed and provided materials, including books, that will help incorporate ocean exploration science into our school's elementary grade studies."
Ane praised the program's teaching materials and online lessons for their ability to assist educators in designing lesson plans. During one workshop session, the 35-year teaching veteran learned how to use authentic oxygen isotope data collected from deep water corals to determine changes in water temperatures over time. She has been able to apply this to instruction of the scientific method and relate it to her lessons in Hawaiian Studies. The teaching materials help her to better communicate indigenous marine studies to her students.
Ane made valuable new contacts at the workshop among teachers from other schools where she can find help and additional resources. Ane'sworkshop was sponsored by OER, the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, and the Waikiki Aquarium.
NOAA' Ocean Exploration Program has developed nationwide alliance partnerships with 15 aquariums and science centers to offer ocean science and exploration professional development opportunities to educators. The program introduces participants to ocean scientists, explorers, and their research and explorations. Teachers receive tools and resources to enhance the teaching and learning of ocean science, including materials describing NOAA's explorations of our largely unknown ocean. In the past nine years, NOAA has hosted 263 teacher workshops across the nation.
Ane has lived in Hawaii except for her first seven years when the family lived in the Detroit area while her father, Charles Ane, was the starting center for the Detroit Lions football team. With her father at center, the Lions won World Championships (now Super Bowls) in 1952, 1953, and 1957.
Educators interested in an onsite workshop can search for one in their area on the NOAA Ocean Explorer website. Those unable to participate in onsite workshops can view and download hundreds of deep-sea focused lessons and attend online courses, such as the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection Volume 1: "Why Do We Explore" and Volume 2: "How Do We Explore?" archived on the Ocean Explorer website.