Inspiring Future Marine and Data Scientists Through the Lure of Ocean Tracks

The Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) at the Education Development Center (EDC), Inc.; Stanford University; and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been collaborating, with the support of three National Science Foundation grants over the past 5 years, to bring large scientific data sets into secondary and postsecondary classrooms. These efforts have culminated in the development of a Web-based student interface to marine science data called Ocean Tracks (http://oceantracks.org), which incorporates design principles based on a broad range of research findings in fields such as cognitive science, visual design, mathematics education, and learning science. The Ocean Tracks interface was tested in high school classrooms in spring and fall of 2013 with a total of 195 high school students. These tests indicate that students appeared to find many aspects of the interface simple and intuitive to use. Teachers and students indicated that working with real data was highly engaging, pointing to the tremendous potential for “big data” to transform the way science is taught. Interest among college faculty in Ocean Tracks indicates a need in undergraduate classrooms for similar tools that allow students to interact with data. So in the fall of 2014, we began to collect baseline data on students attending undergraduate oceanography classes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps) and Palomar College, where we will also be developing curricula and conducting classroom tests. Preliminary results from this work are presented here.

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Source: Inspiring Future Marine and Data Scientists Through the Lure of Ocean Tracks. Randall E. Kochevar, Ruth Krumhansl, Kira Krumhansl, Cheryl L. Peach, Erin Bardar, Josephine Louie, Jessica Sickler, Julianne Mueller-Northcott, Amy Busey, Silvia LaVita, Jacqueline DeLisi. Marine Technology Society Journal, July/August 2015, Volume 49, Number 4, pp. 64–75.

This article is for personal use only, and is not to be distributed in any format. The Marine Technology Society is a not-for-profit, international, professional association. Founded in 1963, the Society believes that the advancement of marine technology and the productive, sustainable use of the oceans depend upon the active exchange of ideas between government, industry and academia. See www.mtsociety.org.

Author:
Randy Kochevar, Ruth Krumhansl, Kira Krumhansl, Cheryl Peach, Erin Bardar, Josephine Louie, Jessica Sickler, Julianne Mueller-Northcott, Amy Busey, Silvia LaVita, Jacqueline DeLisi
Education Development Center, Inc., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Lifelong Learning Group
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