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Outreach: Sea Week

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Students at the touch tanks
Students at the touch tanks.

Alaska Sea week is a K-6 marine and wetland curriculum that was developed in the Juneau School district in the mid 1970ís. The program began as a volunteer effort among parents in Juneau and was further developed through Alaska Sea Grant funding. Grade appropriate curriculum guidelines and materials (slides, worksheets, games and other teaching tools) are used in the classroom and the material is enhanced by visiting local beaches, wetlands and facilities associated with marine research or education. The program received national recognition in 1987 by being named one of the Nationís best science education programs by the National Science Teachersí Association.

Auke Bay Laboratories (ABL) has been involved in Sea Week activities from the very beginning. Annually we provide interpretive programs for approximately 1,200 students, teachers and parents during the month of May. The interpretative programs are geared towards kindergarten and 6th grade students. Both grade levels focus on aquarium viewing with age appropriate animal identification cards and habitat manipulative activities and a "touch tank" experience (opportunity to hold and view invertebrates). Additional activities associated with current research at ABL and basic oceanography are provided for the older students. The kindergarten students visit our facility for 45 minutes while the 6th graders spend 90 minutes.

1. Aquaria Viewing Area: Age appropriate identification cards, habitat and tide pool manipulative, puppets, true/false "buzz board", age appropriate books (stories, keys, novels and art), video showing star fish movement in aquaria.

2. Research Activities: Create oil spill in small pan to watch oil/water mix, by-catch modeling using different types of candy for different fish species, algae display relating seaweed products to grocery store products, deep sea abyss display, and common laboratory equipment viewing.

Students participating in Sea Week
Sea Week activities at the TSMRI Aquaria.

Bonita Nelson and Tom Rutecki
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Point Lena Loop Road
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 789-6071 (Bonita) or 6051 (Tom)

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