What Little Herc Saw

See the underwater world through a different pair of eyes! Middle school marine biologists identify deep-sea organisms by examining images taken by an ROV from the Okeanos Explorer. After determining what creatures lie beneath the surface, groups work together to determine the abundance of each species within the explored area.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Instruct the class to identify the organisms as completely as possible; this will make the activity more similar to the work of real ocean explorers
  • Provide reference images of common marine invertebrates to give pupils a starting point for their descriptions
Classroom Considerations

  • Place students in groups of two to four
  • Project images on a large screen, if possible; digital images show more detail than paper copy versions
Pros

  • Images contain red dots to show scale, a helpful tool for organism identification
  • The activity combines species identification with practice in determining both genetic diversity and biodiversity
  • Lesson is well-rounded, combining observation, inference, and math skills
Cons

  • None