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Educator's Guide

The Carolina Coastal Science Web site is an innovative, inquiry-based science resource that utilizes the interactive technologies of a Web browser to explore science in coastal Carolina. Coastal Explorations: Carolina Coastal Science has been created based on the goals stated in the National Science Education Standards and has been aligned with the North Carolina Science Curriculum Standards.

While this Web site has been designed specifically for an Environmental Science component of an elementary, middle school, or upper secondary science curriculum, it may be used in different curricular areas. The issues raised in the Shell Island Dilemma and Relocating A Lighthouse have been designed to explore a variety of different concerns in social studies and geography, as well as language and media studies.

This Web site can be used by primary, middle school, and upper secondary students with different levels of ability. Teachers and students can use this web site independently or as a class using a number of different teaching strategies:

Teaching suggestions


Here are specific teaching suggestions for incorporating the Carolina Coastal Science Web site into:


Click your mouse on a title below for a detailed curriculum guide that includes explanations of the coastal processes and issues presented in that section.

Carolina Coastal Photojournal
The Shell Island Dilemma
Inquiry Images
Coastal Research Technology
Relocating A Lighthouse


Primary School Suggestions (K-5)

Use the Inquiry Images for entire class discussion.

Use the still images and QuickTime Virtual Reality panoramas in the Carolina Coastal Photojournal to have students discuss similarities and differences in the amount of sand, visible waves, and plant cover between the ocean side and marsh side of the same barrier island.

Use the still images and QuickTime Virtual Reality panoramas in the Carolina Coastal Photojournal to have students identify similarities and differences among the three regions of the Carolina Coast. Have the students pay attention to the presence and absence of barrier islands, inlets, coastal rivers, and sounds.

Use the Carolina Coastal Photojournal to have students draw their own barrier island. Have students color in sand and plants.

Use the QuickTime videos and the aerial photographs depicting the migration of Mason's Inlet from October 1989 to November 1995 to have students make predictions regarding the direction and speed of Mason's Inlet, the fate of the Shell Island Resort, and the eventual shape of Figure Eight 8 Island.

Use the resources from the Coastal Research Technology section to have students brainstorm regarding the tasks of a coastal oceanographer and/or a coastal geologist. Ask students to think about what kind of tools these scientists might use.



Middle School Suggestions (6-8)

Use the Relocating A Lighthouse section to develop a debate on the issue of whether or not this lighthouse should be protected. A further debate can conclude with a recommendation on protecting the structure.

Use the QuickTime videos and the aerial photographs depicting the migration of Mason's Inlet from October 1989 to November 1995 to have students make predictions regarding the direction and speed of Mason's Inlet the fate of the Shell Island Resort, and the eventual shape of Figure Eight 8 Island.

Use the Inquiry Images for entire class discussion.

Use the still images and QuickTime Virtual Reality in the Carolina Coastal Photojournal to have students discuss similarities and differences in the amount of sand, visible waves, and plant cover between the ocean side and marsh side of the same barrier island.

Use the Shell Island Dilemma to engage students in an inquiry simulation debate. Your students' objective is to investigate the issues concerning the fate of the Shell Island Resort and then debate its future. As your students engage in the investigation, they will identify the social, political, and scientific issues with which different stakeholders must deal. Students should place themselves into the role of one of the stakeholders and complete a Position Statement Handout during their investigation. A Student Record Sheet Assessment is provided for each individual student to complete at the conclusion of the debate.

Use the Internet to locate photographs of other coastal areas in the world and compare these to the Carolina coast. Focus on the presence and absence of barrier islands, coastal rivers, and sounds. Where in the world do you find other extensive barrier island systems?

Explore the Coastal Research Technology section to identify the scientific instruments used by oceanographers and coastal geologists to collect data. Have your students use Internet search engines to locate actual coastal data sets acquired with the coastal research equipment.

Use these oceanography web sites to have students explore their own coastal research topics.



Upper Secondary School Suggestions (9-12)

Use the Shell Island Dilemma to engage students in an inquiry simulation debate. Your students' objective is to investigate the issues concerning the fate of the Shell Island Resort and then debate its future. As your students engage in the investigation, they will identify the social, political, and scientific issues with which different stakeholders must deal. Students should place themselves into the role of one of the stakeholders and complete a Position Statement Handout during their investigation. A Student Record Sheet Assessment is provided for each individual student to complete at the conclusion of the debate.

Use the Carolina Coastal Photojournal to have students construct their own set of inquiry questions: Should development occur on the pictured barrier islands? What are the dangers of inlet side development? For what reasons should barrier islands be protected from development?

Use the Shell Island Dilemma to have students create a multimedia presentation such as a HyperStudio stack in which they predict the fate of the Shell Island Resort.

Use the Inquiry Images to generate entire class discussion.

Use the Carolina Coastal Photojournal for students to predict the best location for an ocean outfall on the Carolina Coast for sewage disposal.

Use the Internet to locate photographs of other coastal areas in the world and compare these to the Carolina coast. Focus on the presence and absence of barrier islands, coastal rivers, and sounds. Where in the world do you find other extensive barrier island systems?

Explore the Coastal Research Technology section to identify the scientific instruments used by oceanographers and coastal geologists to collect data. Have your students use Internet search engines to locate actual coastal data sets acquired with the coastal research equipment.

Use the ROV video clips to have students identify similarities and differences between natural and artificial reefs in the coastal waters off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Use the Relocating A Lighthouse section to develop a debate on the issue of whether or not this lighthouse should be protected. A further debate can conclude with a recommendation on protecting the structure.

Use these oceanography web sites to have students explore their own coastal research topics.




Carolina Coastal Photojournal | The Shell Island Dilemma | Inquiry Images | Coastal Research Technology | Relocating A Lighthouse | CD-ROM Version | Site Map

Carolina Coastal Science


©1999, Alec M. Bodzin for the Science Junction, NC State University. All rights reserved.

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