OceanQuest 2004
Mission 1: Choose a Marine Animal to Explore

This is a picture of the ocean.


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To: My E-mail Pal
Subject: Discover the Wonderful Ocean
Date: August 29, 2003  8:34 AM 


Dear E-mail Pal, 


Here's the first question!  It's Hot off the press from OceanQuest:

If you could only learn about one animal that lives in or near the ocean which would you choose?  Wh

Specific Tasks:

I've got this great idea!

  1. Why don't we go on a virtual field trip to the New England Virtual Aquarium. 

  2. We could learn a lot more about the ocean and the animals that live in or near it.  

  3. Once we have some time to explore we can choose our favorite animal to study.


This is a picture of the New England Aquarium Click here if you want to go on the virtual tour with me!






I was wondering what you already know about the ocean.  Have you ever been to the ocean or read about the ocean? What plants or animals did you see there?

This is an image of the sunrising over the ocean

Exhibit 1: The Ocean Dream

I found this great exhibit when I first got into the Virtual Aquarium.  I read the text of this exhibit first to myself and then I had my buddy read it to me as I closed my eyes and imagined that I was there on the ocean.  It was like I was there in the boat on the ocean. It was almost like a dreeeaaammm...:

...The day is one of those hazy, hot, and humid days as you leave the familiar shore to head out to sea. The fresh, cool breeze wafts across your face and the heat of the land begins to melt away.  You are inspired to go further.  The flap of the sails fade away as you become almost mesmerized by the gently rocking waves that appear at the oceans horizon and continue endlessly. Those waves rock your boat ever so soothingly, as if you were a baby held in the arms of a loving mother. The sounds of the busy city streets fade away and with them goes all your stress.  You are alone, lost only in your own thoughts. As you glide smoothly over the water, your hand falls overboard dipping into the cool New England waters.  The 65 degree water snaps you out of your dream.  You are already a mile out on the water but you could be in the middle of the Atlantic ocean for  the hazy air blocks out all site of land.  You feel not quite so significant out here on the ocean as it spreads before you as far as your eyes can see.  Out here you can enjoy the birds as they quietly go about their business of skimming the water only occasionally lifting up to get a better angle and then diving down into the water to catch their morning snack.    A school of cod fish race beneath your boat. A thousand sparkling fish in the school, moving effortlessly together as if one. Ahead of you a Right-whale gracefully surfaces to catch a breath of air on then re-submerges to get another mouthful... 

Exhibit 2: The Giant Ocean

That last exhibit reminds me of the time that my family and I...  O.K., I won't bore you with the details but this virtual Aquarium is reminding me of all the times that I have gone to the ocean.  How about you?

I never knew that the ocean is so big!  This one exhibit that I went to said,

"The Oceans cover more than 70% (that's greater than 2/3) of our earth's surface. This makes the ocean the largest habitat on earth. 

  • The ocean is so big that you could set sail on a ship and sail around the world and never touch land.  

  • At some points the ocean is so deep that you could sink Mt. Everest- Earth's tallest Mountain (29.028 ft. or 8,848m)- without a trace.

  • The Earth is the only planet in our solar system (that we know of) with vast amounts of liquid water."



Exhibit 3:  Great Ocean Sites

Wow, when you stop to think about it the ocean is so big and gives us so much.  I mean we're always swimming, fishing, surfing, or going out on the boat. It's  pretty, too. I think I read somewhere that the ocean's mild waters cool us down in the summer and keep our weather warmer in the cold winter months.  It also mentioned that the ocean collects rain water from the surrounding lands and recycles it over and over keeping the water cycle going.

This is great the Aquarium has suggests that we check out these links to learn more about the ocean.  Click on the link below to get to some great sites about the ocean!

Great Ocean Sites



Exhibit 4: Ask the Experts

I have so many questions about the ocean and the animals that I am thinking about studying.  Every time I ask my parents about it they give me the same old answer, "I don't know!"  I was getting pretty frustrated until I found this one exhibit at the Virtual Aquarium that gave me a way to e-mail different ocean experts that are ready and willing to help me.  Check it out!

Ask the Experts



Exhibit 5: Animals that live in or near the Ocean

"We really got a lot of stuff today on the ocean and the animals that live there.  Lets look through some of these articles on our computer and see if we can find an animal that we want to learn more about for our project with Oceanquest.   Here are several links to sites that can help us learn more about Ocean Animals.



Exhibit 6: Ocean Environmental Concerns

Here's a great exhibit that explains further how our oceans are getting polluted by humans.  This exhibit gives some great sites that explain how this pollution is harming the oceans and the animals that live there.

Ocean Environmental Concerns



Exhibit 7: Ocean Career Links

Look at this!  I'm not sure if this is exactly what we're looking for but I've always wanted to have a job working to help the oceans..  This exhibit that I found gives all sorts of great information on jobs that we can get to help the oceans. 

Ocean Career Links



Great Ocean Books: 

Use these great books to explore the wonders of the ocean. For a complete list of Great Ocean Books see our Great Ocean Books and Annotated Bibliography.

Knight, Lindsay  Under the Sea (Nature Company Discoveries) 1995.
Lambert, David  The Kingfisher Young People's Book of Oceans  1997.
Nye, Bill   Bill Nye the Science Guy's : Big Blue Ocean  1998.
VanCleave, Janice  Janice Vancleave's Oceans for Every Kid : Easy Activities That Make Learning Science Fun (Science for Every Kid Series) 1996. 
Time Life  Ocean Life (Time-Life Student Library) 1999.


Online Resources:


Great Ocean Sites

Oceans     A great staring point.  Good general information and illustrations.
Oceans Alive    Great Site to learn about the water cycle and oceans.
Secrets@Sea    This textbook like pages give great general information on the ocean.
Undersea and Oversee    This is a great page with super links.
Oceans Virtual Field Trip    Well written. Easy to use. Great photographs.
The Ocean Biome    Good information on the ocean habitat.
Neptune's Web    A large Site with lot's of information.  I found it a bit difficult to navigate.
Marine Biology    A great resource to get in-depth information on ocean plants and animals.
Ocean Planet    Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History presents the ocean.
Oceans and Coastal Protection    The EPA has developed a great site here.
Oceans '98    Good ocean resources. It is from 1998, so it can have some dead links.
Health of the Oceans    This Real Audio speech from Science Friday gives a great outline of the oceans.

This is a picture of the New England Aquarium Back to the Exhibit 3



Ask the Expert

OceanLink    Ask a Marine Scientist / Answer Archive - Our popular question and answer forum. Also find Answers to some of your questions; dive into a sea of marine information from seaweed to sharks, whales to whelks, and marine pollution to oceanography!
Ask SeaDog    Do you have a question about whales, fish, sharks, penguins or other ocean animals? 

This is a picture of the New England Aquarium Back to the Exhibit 4



Animal Sites

Ocean Planet Marine Life Facts    The oceans contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet.
Animal Planet  Great information on all types of animals.
NetVet Veterinary Resources - Fish Sites    A Hotlist of Fish sites
NetVet Veterinary Resources - Marine Mammals   A Hotlist of marine mammal sites
Marine Animal Records    The name speaks for itself!
Hazardous Marine Life    Marine life in tropical waters that pose hazards to man. 
Aerodynamics of Animals    Learn how ocean animals move.
Glossary of Marine Life Terms    From adaptation to to vertebrates, this page lists and defines many marine life terms.
In the School Survival in the Sea    Explore Life in the Food Chain.

This is a picture of the New England Aquarium Back to Exhibit 5



Environmental Links

Introduction to Water Quality Monitoring    Learn about water quality monitoring?
Ocean Planet Pollution    A comprehensive look at ocean environmental problems.
Plastics in Our Oceans    Excellent page on plastic pollution.
Saving Our Seas    Sea World leads kids and adults on a journey to read about certain areas with environmental problems
The Shell Island Dilemma
     An environmental case study.
Saving Polluterville A webquest that addresses ocean pollution
Oil Spills  A great hands-on way to learn about oil spills!
Ocean Pollution  Great unit on ocean pollution.


This is a picture of the New England Aquarium Back to Exhibit 6


Ocean Career Links

Academy of Achievement    INTERVIEW with Sylvia Earle, Ph.D. (Undersea Explorer)
Careers in Marine Science    Advice to Students and Parents From the Scientists of Mote Marine Laboratory
Oceanography Careers    Have your questions answered.
How can I get a job in oceanography?    How can I get a job in oceanography, especially at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution?
Marine Science Careers    Interested in learning more about careers in marine biology and other marine sciences? If so, you're in the right place.
Career Info - Answers to your questions about a career in Marine Biology, interviews with Marine Scientists and more!

This is a picture of the New England Aquarium Back to Exhibit 7




Were you able to choose an animal that you would like to learn more about?  I found a few great ones that really need our help.  I was looking at the Harbor Porpoises, Harbor Seals, Lobsters, Sea Otters, Sea Turtles, Sharks, Swordfish, and Whales.  Did you find another animal that you would like to explore and learn more about?  I think that all the animals are great so I'll let you and your group choose which animal we can study further.

Choose an animal that relies on the ocean to explore and learn more about. 

Once we pick our animal we will need to:

  1. Draw a detailed illustration that shows our animal in action. We need to include details to show where it lives (habitat.) In the picture we need to show some of the other plants and animals live there.

  2. We will need to scan your illustration so that you can e-mail it to OceanQuest. We need to send our picture as an e-mail attachment to support@iwebquest.com 

  3. I have heard that OceanQuest does not want us to  include our real names for safety reasons.  They suggest that we make up an alias, made up name, that has something to do with the ocean.  They want us to put down our grade level.  They provided a great site about keeping safe on the Internet.  You might want to check it out also.  Here's the link, Making Safe Choices.

  4. OceanQuest ids going to post our illustrations to create an web page that will introduce our upcoming life-size animal and our report.

Revisit the Question:

If you could only learn about one animal that lives in or near the ocean which would you choose?  Why?



Your E-Mail Pal



OceanQuest 2001 Essential Questions Stay on Task  |   Ocean Hotlist  
Great Ocean Books  |  Fun Ocean Activities  |  Teacher's Page  |  Monthly Newsletter  

Choose a Marine Animal to Explore Where Does Your Animal Live?
Your Animal!  | Tell the World About Your Animal!


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