NOAA Planet Stewards - The Watch, May 19th, 2020

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower,
share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's,
smile at someone and receive a smile in return,
are to me continual spiritual exercises

–Leo Buscaglia

Planet Stewards Education Program Links

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ocean literacy

OF SPECIAL NOTE: Announcing a New Ocean Literacy Framework

The National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) developed an extensive ocean literacy framework made up of the Ocean Literacy Guide, the Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K–12, and the Alignment of Ocean Literacy to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This framework presents a vision of an ocean-literate society and outlines the knowledge required to be considered ocean literate. Read more about it on the NOAA Ocean Service site then see the NMEA Ocean Literacy page for additional resources and information about these efforts.

A version suitable for printing on letter-size paper is available here online.



A Planet Steward Archived Webinar:  

Exploring Ocean Frontiers: Deep-Sea Corals, Real-Life Data and Collaborative Science


NOAA's Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program coordinates research on deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems, building our limited understanding of where and how they exist. This webinar covers advances in the science and protection of deep-sea corals, and introduces free NGSS designed lessons, activities, and resources designed to facilitate classroom explorations into building our understanding of these hidden ecosystems. 

Interested in a live event? Check out Deep Sea Coral with Zoologist Andrea Quattrini, this Wednesday, 5/20 from 2 – 2:30 pm EDT from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Sign up here.


FIVE: Learn from NOAA Live! Pacific Islands

NOAA is offering a series of six interactive webinars featuring NOAA experts from the Pacific Islands. The youth-focused webinars cover a range of exciting science topics and are open to everyone!. Check out the current NOAA Live! Schedule and join them for the next presentation on Wednesday, May 20. These webinars are targeted to students in grades 2–6 but are suitable for all ages.

NOAA Live!

FOUR: Marine Debris Tracker

Did you know that thousands of citizen scientists have logged over 2 MILLION pieces of litter and debris all over the world using the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker? Check out the Marine Debris Tracker website to see the data, photos, top trackers and more. All are invited to use this open-data citizen-science tool, powered by Morgan Stanley. Learn how to use the tool here.

marine tracker

THREE: Engaging Webinars & Live Interactions from NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries

National Marine Sanctuaries

The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in any setting. Enjoy the webinars live or access and review their webinar archive.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries also offer live interactive events that connect you to the network of underwater parks encompassing over 600,000 square miles of pristine marine ecosystems and to experts in research, education, and exploration in real time. Check out these engaging resources for all ages and their schedule of upcoming events here.

TWO: From NOAA National Ocean Service in honor of Endangered Species Day this May, #ESADayNOAA

Do you know the answer to these questions?  .

1. What is the difference between a threatened and endangered species? 
2. How many species live in the ocean?

Click on the questions to find out more about endangered species from NOAA!

endangered Species

ONE: STAR Seminar - CoastWatch Data Portal Demonstration

May 22, 11-12pm EDT

Coastal Watch

NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch provides easy access for everyone to global and regional satellite data to understand, manage and protect ocean and coastal resources as well as assess impacts of environmental change. In this seminar, you’ll receive an overview and demonstration of the map viewer and learn how to display, explore, and access sea surface temperature, salinity, color, wind, synthetic aperture radar and sea level anomaly data products. See the OneNOAA seminar series of all webinars here and access the CoastWatch STAR Seminar on Webex.

Other Upcoming webinars from OneNOAA Seminar Series Not to Miss

  • Creating OneNOAA w/ NOAA Director of Education Louisa Koch, May 21, 2pm-3pm EDT. Louisa Koch will discuss how NOAA’s education community and regional collaboration teams work to make the pieces of NOAA into a greater whole. She will explore opportunities to better integrate, leverage and increase NOAA resources.   

When available, recordings will be posted here

Love to learn about NOAA, its science, and programs? Send an email to OneNOAA science seminars - with the word 'subscribe' in the subject or body.

Class opportunities

Celebrate World Oceans Day and Get Involved

World Ocean Day

On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. This year, World Oceans Day is being celebrated on June 8th, 2020, and calls on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. Interested educators and students can check out World Oceans Day events, resources and more via its website.

In honor of World Oceans Day, check out this article: Thirty-six Thousand Feet Under the Sea 

Student opportunities

Digital STEAM Projects from the National Children’s Museum

Each day at 2:30pm, the National Children's Museum features a different STEAM project and a design + build challenge or experiment and story time for children under twelve and their caregivers on Facebook. Students can access the program on Facebook here..


Underwater Photography Contest

The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is now accepting entries for its annual Underwater Photography Contest. The deadline for submitting photos is 12 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time on August 3, 2020. Judged by a panel of professional photographers and marine scientists, photographs are divided into five separate categories: Fish or Marine Animal Portrait; Marine Conservation; Macro; Wide Angle; UM Student; and Best overall. Winners will receive monetary rewards. To visit past entries, contest rules, and the entry form, please visit this site.

Conference Reports

The Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference is Going Virtual!


The first-ever Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference is going virtual on June 29 and 30, 2020. Registration is now open. The conference program and more details about speakers and session descriptions will be posted on the conference’s website in the coming weeks. For more information visit:!


Ed Resources

From NSTA Science and Children April/May Issue: 

This and That Box: Primary Students Use their Imaginations at a Station Designed for Building

This and That box activity

A long-time Planet Steward Peer Leader and master teacher shares an elementary engineering activity in Science and Children with her co-author that allows young students to design, engineer, and build. While this activity is written for classroom use, it’s equally effective as an “at home” activity station. As the authors note, such a student(s) directed activity allows innovation, invention, and imagination to flourish and fosters better thinkers, learners,  and problem solvers.

Have You Ever Heard the Story of the American Eel’s Amazing Journey?

New York’s Hudson River Estuary Program and its educators engage elementary students as they explore the American eel's amazing journey from sea to stream and back again. Access the video on YouTube and review a wealth of estuary educational resources on the Hudson River Estuary educational resources web page.


More About the Hudson River Estuary from Cornell University’s Virtual River Program

Aquatic macroinvertebrates; turtles; seining for Fish…. These are just a few of the topics that you’ll see covered  in Virtual River’s short video series that introduces students and others to the fascinating things to explore around the Hudson River Estuary and its watershed.


Live Virtual Events from the Virginia Aquarium


Invite your students to a special series of science talks with Virginia Aquarium staff as they share some of their work with animals, conservation projects, and research. Upcoming virtual talks include:

Registration (via the links to the events) is required.

Do It with Daily Dos from NSTA


With NSTA’s Daily Dos, teachers and parents can engage their students in authentic, relevant science learning that focuses on sensemaking tasks. Using the Next Generation Science Standards science and engineering practices, students actively try to figure out how the world works or how to design solutions to problems. Engage students in NSTA’S DAILY DO here. Tasks are available specifically for elementary, middle, and high school students as well as Daily Dos for families.


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