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What is an Ocean Observing System?
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Weather & Water 5th Grade Curriculum
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Train-the-Trainer Program
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Fun with Historical Weather Data!

worksheet2The Ocean Institute’s Weather & Water 5th Grade Program is a comprehensive nine-week program that is aligned with the California Science Content Standards. The curriculum promotes inquiry-based science learning and includes nine weeks of comprehensive lesson plans for classroom instruction and a 2-½ hour field trip to the Ocean Institute. Each week of the program addresses at least one of the weather and water 5th grade earth science standards. Multiple instructional strategies are employed each week to provide students with several opportunities to learn the content standards. Classroom instruction is based on two 60-minute science sessions per week. One session per week is dedicated to direct instruction, and the second session uses Science Notebooks and inquiry-based investigations to promote investigation and experimentation skills. The curriculum also includes homework activities, English Language Learner modifications, Gifted and Talented Education options, technology lessons that utilize historical and real-time weather data, quizzes, question banks, and assessment strategies.

The Weather & Water field trip to the Ocean Institute reinforces the concepts students learn in class by engaging students in inquiry-based investigations that are not easily duplicated in a classroom. Students use their Science Notebooks during the field trip to explore the water cycle, convection currents, and weather maps in an interactive, hands-on format.

The program has been successfully implemented in over 100 classrooms in 16 school districts across Orange County. The National Science Teachers Association and the Association of Science-Technology Centers have selected it as an example of an exemplary informal science education program that demonstrates the key tenets of the National Science Education Standards.

Please click here for a complete program overview and/or here for a sample of a lesson plan from the program. Please click here if you would like to become a trainer for the program and implement the program in your area. Please contact Sue Magdziarz at for more information about the program.