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Coral Cores: Ocean Timeline - NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

Lesson Plan 

Using x-ray images of actual coral cores taken from the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, students learn how corals generate calcium carbonate skeletons in layers and what those layers can tell us. Students also relate sections of these cores to the history of ocean exploration.

Concept: Ocean exploration
Less than 5% of the ocean has been explored; however, the ocean is a great resource, so in order to better understand the ocean we need to employ inquiry and investigation. Emphasis is placed on history of ocean exploration and on changing technology.

National Science Education Standards
(click a standard to show activities that meet it)

K-12 Unifying Concepts and Processes
Systems, order, and organization
Evidence, models, and explanation
Constance, change, and measurement

9-12 A Science as Inquiry
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Understandings about scientific inquiry

9-12 C Life Science
Behavior of organisms

9-12 E Science and Technology
Abilities in technological design
Understandings about science and technology

9-12 G History and Nature of Science
Science as a human endeavor
Nature of scientific knowledge
Historical perspectives

Ocean Literacy Essential Principles (PDF booklet): 7. The ocean is largely unexplored (concepts a, b, c)

Life on an Ocean Planet text reference (book link): Chapter 2 History of Ocean Exploration and Marine Sciences