Climate: Seas of Change


Developed in partnership with the National Geographic Society, students will connect with scientists from the Nautilus Exploration Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to understand the effects of global climate change on our oceans.

Throughout the missions, students will track drifting buoys to gather ocean data and see how scientists use sophisticated computer-modeling systems to predict the effects of climate change, as well as make connections to understand how Earth’s ocean and climate are interrelated. In addition, students will get a behind the scenes look at the technology and equipment that is used in the crucial research taking place in this field while they investigate:

  • Physical and chemical properties of water
  • Features of the ocean floor
  • Global winds and ocean currents
  • Earth’s energy budget
  • The greenhouse effect
  • Climate and climate zones
  • Natural and human causes of climate change

Appropriate Age Levels:
Innovatively designed to be appropriate for upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Rigorously aligned to national and state science standards as well as mathematics, social studies, and English language arts standards, and national curriculum standards, including NCTM, IB, and ISTE.

Students gain access to 3 unique missions, each comprising of written articles, labs, field assignments, interactive games, video, and animations.

Mission 1: Earth’s Ocean System — Beneath the Blue
Students join oceanographer Katy Croff Bell, Chief Scientist at the Nautilus Exploration Program, on board the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus to explore Earth’s ocean from shoreline to deepest trench, and begin to investigate the effects the ocean and Earth’s climate have on each other.

Mission 2: Climate Connections — Drift and Flow
Diane Stanitski, Program Manager at NOAA Office of Climate Observation, invites students to hop aboard the NOAA Research Vessel (R/V) Shearwater and work alongside climatologists Dr. Diane Stanitski and NOAA Commander John Adler to analyze data from drifting buoys, in order to better understand the role ocean currents play in Earth’s climate.

Mission 3: Climate Change — Models and Decisions
Join climate scientist Dr. James Hack, Director at the National Center for Computational Sciences and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as he demonstrates how some of the world’s most advanced supercomputers are used to run climate models used to study the causes and potential long-term effects of climate change.

Teacher Support Materials:

Specially prepared teacher support materials to support each of the four missions in Tectonic Fury:

  • Pre and Post Tests
  • Data Sheets
  • Lesson Plans
  • A Special Teacher’s Edition
  • Web links and other tools


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Additional information


Base Product, Base + Advanced Certificate Add-On