Beyond the Edge of the Sea: Educational Programming for a Marine Science Art Exhibit Grades K-12

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Van Dover, Cindy L

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The ocean is the largest biosphere on earth covering about 70% of the earth’s surface. Yet, very little is known about this deep sea environment due to its inaccessibility. The task of educating the public about deep ocean environments and making people care about them is no easy job. One team made up of a hydrothermal vent scientist and a watercolor artist have come together in a collaborative effort that will covey the beauty, awareness and understanding of the deep sea. The format for displaying information will be a traveling art exhibit that showcases illustrations of deep sea environments and the communities that live there.

The specific objective of my master’s project was to produce museum programming for grades K-12 to accompany the exhibit, in order to promote ocean education and awareness of chemosynthetic communities. Upon completion the lesson plans will be posted on the Muscarelle Museum of Art web site, providing educators access to educational materials before arrival at the exhibit. The published activities will be correlated to the National Science standards published by the National Research Council and Ocean Literacy standards.

The anticipated response is for students to be inspired by and aware of the deep-sea and the amazing life that is found there. By recognizing the existence of deep sea organisms, individuals may become stewards for them and their environment. Each set of activities follow a standard lesson plan format and include: summary, background information, objective, setting, duration, materials, standards, materials and In addition, all lessons follow the interactive museum experience model, a guide for developing education programs in settings like museums.





Bostock, Virginia (2008). Beyond the Edge of the Sea: Educational Programming for a Marine Science Art Exhibit Grades K-12. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.