There are several STEM field classes led by DISL's Discovery Hall Programs' marine educators. STEM field classes must be booked with our Scheduling Coordinator Jennifer Latour via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (251) 861-2141 x7511.
Designing Plankton (5th – 12th)(3.5 hr) (lab + field activity)
Students investigate the many species of phyto- and zooplankton using plankton nets to take live samples from Mobile Bay, and use microscopes in the laboratory to observe what they caught. Students then apply what they have learned and ‘bioengineer’ their own plankter to use in the Race to Survive!
The Oceanography of Waves (5th – 12th)(3.5 hr) (lab + field activity)
Students explore the scientific method as they develop and test hypotheses by measuring, graphing, and analyzing wave height data at the beach. The group explores the physics of waves and examines examples of unusual waves, while the educator facilitates a discussion of how waves impact shorelines and coastal communities and coastal resilience.
ROVing the Gulf (5th – 12th)(3.5 hr) (STEM) (lab + field activity)
Students design, build and fly their own unique remotely operated vehicle (ROV). As they do, they explore buoyancy and hydrodynamics and apply the engineering design process, learning to work as teams and rise to challenges as their ROVs carry out missions. The educator shares local and global examples of ROV use in underwater research, exploration, and industry.
Garbage Patches, Ocean Currents, and Drifters (5th – 12th)(3.5 hr) (lab + field activity)
Students design and build current drifters, a type of technology scientists use to study ocean currents. Weather permitting, students deploy a full-size ocean drifter at the beach and track its motion using an app. The significance of nearshore currents in barrier island dynamics and the effects of ocean currents on the distribution of organisms, heat, energy, and other materials in the water are discussed.
Sea Level Rise and Barrier Island Changes (5th – 12th)(3.5 hr) (lab + field activity)
Through a series of short laboratory activities and online viewers, students explore the issue of sea level rise, climate change, and barrier island dynamics. Traveling to the beach, students construct a beach profile by measuring and graphing elevations while the educator facilitates a discussion of how sea level rise is impacting shorelines and coastal communities.