Project TECHNOcean Research

Project TECHNOcean used hands-on inquiry-based lessons, labs, and field experiences to engage students with ocean monitoring, ocean exploration, and ocean conservation. It was funded through a gift from the Duke Energy Foundation which placed nine graduate students into two local middle schools for 32 interactions (about once a week) throughout the school year. Cape Fear Middle School (CFMS) in Pender County and Murray Middle School (MMS) in New Hanover County participated with Project TECHNOcean. CFMS's 6th grade did not receive any intervention in the form of TECHNOcean graduate students in their classroom. CFMS's 7th grade and MMS's 7th and 8th grade had TECHNOcean students weekly.

The research involved having students take a pre-assessment before Project TECHNOcean began and a post-assessment after completion. The questionnaire included multiple choice questions, yes / no questions, and open-ended responses. The assessment covered both general and specific knowledge about the ocean but was not aligned with the curriculum from all grades. It was written before the lessons, so it did not match directly with what was taught in each classroom. The lessons were paced with their regular science lessons, met standards, and complemented their typical instruction. Knowledge questions include information from both the pre- and post-assessment while the sea level rise and ocean open-ended responses are only from the pre-assessment. A sample of these results can be found on this website.

For a preview of results, explore the pages below:

Through the course of the research collected, it became evident that although behavior and attitudes were not significantly different between MMS and CFMS, knowledge of ocean-related information differed. These differences led to the creation of Project Blue Mile through AmeriCorps NC ProjectGEOS (Growing Environmental Opportunities through Service). Project Blue Mile allowed for a 10-month service position, through which the AmeriCorps Member will increase ocean-based education to underserved communities surrounding New Hanover County, NC. During summer 2015, Project Blue Mile will offer outreach opportunities, and a no-cost summer camp for the middle school students of Pender County. The focus of the project is Ocean Literacy Principle #6: the ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.