For Teachers

Professional Development and Classroom Seminars

Community College Instructor Workshops
Los Angeles area community college instructors were invited to attend a day-long C-DEBI sponsored workshop at USC to learn about deep biosphere research being conducted by C-DEBI scientists and to collaborate with fellow instructors to integrate the information into their current curriculum. One workshop was held in each of the Fall and Spring semesters.

Education and Research: Testing Hypotheses (EARTH) Workshop
EARTH (co-sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, MBARI) is a week-long summer workshop for K-16 educators to incorporate real time data from ocean observatories to design and test outreach with the Internet as an interface to scientists, teachers, students, and the public.

COSEE-West and College of Exploration Online Teacher Training Workshops
The West Coast Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE-West) and The College of Exploration teamed up with C-DEBI to develop connections and interactions between cutting edge university research and teacher-training workshops and training programs through lecture series and in-person and on-line workshops that enhance the teachers’ instruction. View the archived materials from the March 2011 Workshop, November/December 2011 Workshop, February/March 2012 Workshop, and November 2013 Workshop.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s School of Rock (SOR) Workshop
The School of Rock is for earth and ocean science educators interested in experiencing scientific ocean drilling research with the experts. During this multi-day workshop onboard the JOIDES Resolution or in the IODP Gulf Coast Core Repository, educators from across the country and the world work with real core material and lab technology to learn how the science reveals clues about Earth’s history.

JOIDES Resolution Onboard Education Officer/Teacher at Sea
Be an Education Officer/Teacher at Sea on a JOIDES Resolution Research Vessel expedition to learn shipboard science alongside the expedition’s science party and translate your experience with live video broadcasting, blogs and more from the ship to classrooms and the general public.


K-16 Educator Small Grants
The K-16 Educator Small Grants program supported K-16 teachers who attended a C-DEBI educator training program and incorporated C-DEBI content into their classrooms. These awards up to $2500 supported items including but not limited to the following: funds for student field trips, classroom supplies, travel for presenting C-DEBI curriculum at educator meetings, or additional professional development directly related to C-DEBI research.

Education and Outreach Grants
Our education and outreach goals include creating distinctive, targeted education programs and promoting increased public awareness about life below the seafloor. C-DEBI funded Education and Outreach Grants (up to $50,000) for education/outreach projects on marine deep biosphere topics. The program legacy includes educational opportunities and materials that are pertinent to deep biosphere research in the subseafloor environment.


C-DEBI / Delaware SeaGrant 15-second Science Videos
In partnership with the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), Delaware Sea Grant is expanding its collection of 15 Second Science videos and other multimedia to include resources about the deep biosphere and sub-seafloor life. Below the ocean floor lives a tremendous amount of life, none of which is visible to naked eye or even the run-of-the-mill microscope. Here in the subsurface, we find bacteria, archaea, and fungi by the trillions! Tune in for 15 Second Science segments, longer Dive Deeper videos, and even some virtual reality videos, discussing microbes, dark energy, and the tools and techniques used to explore this extreme environment.

Where Wild Microbes Grow: An eBook for Kids
Where Wild Microbes Grow is a children’s picture eBook about the search for life under the seafloor. Kids explore how scientists are discovering amazing creatures that may help us find life on other planets. Written in rhyming verse by Kevin Kurtz and illustrated by Alice Feagan, this iBook also includes interactive videos, photos and other media about the astonishing world of seafloor microbes. Also available as a PDF that can be viewed on any computer device or printed.

Note: This eBook was also written to meet Common Core and Next Generation Science standards and uses text, illustrations, and videos to teach K-8 students about intraterrestrial life and the nature of science. Formatted for a digital projector or an interactive whiteboard in addition to iPads!

Life Underground: The Game
Life Underground, a game developed by the Game Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, takes players on a journey into the depths and extremes of the Earth, and it’s available to download! The game is an interactive outreach experience for 7th and 8th grade classrooms. The goal is for students to visualize microscopic life at a range of terrestrial and extraterrestrial subsurface conditions. Students take the role of a young scientist investigating extreme subsurface environments for microbial life. They will navigate through extreme conditions, including those of temperature, pressure, acidity, and energy limitations, and they will begin to recognize what characterizes life in this context.

C-DEBI Toolkits for Community College Instructors at the College of Exploration
To address the educational objectives of C-DEBI, the College of Exploration was funded to convene a collaborative team to guide the production of online toolkits of educational materials and resources that community college instructors could use to teach about C-DEBI research and the deep biosphere. The project team consisted of 8 to 10 collaborators, including community college instructors, C-DEBI scientists, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, technology experts, and science education specialists. The online toolkits kits were designed to be aligned with specific community college course subjects and include materials and information that instructors can use to make connections between the topics in their curriculum and C-DEBI research, practices, or technology.

Special Issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education Featuring the Outreach of Marine NSF Science and Technology Centers
A special issue of Current was sponsored by three National Science Foundation Science and Technology Centers (STCs) that focus on oceanography: C-DEBI, CMOP, and C-MORE. This issue published in 2013 introduces these STCs that focus on ocean and coastal environments and provides examples of their educational outreach. The C-DEBI articles include:

Adopt-A-Microbe (AAM)
The ship-to-shore Adopt-A-Microbe Project was created by Dr. Beth Orcutt (scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine) to raise awareness of microscopic life – “microbes” – living in the deep marine subsurface to middle school audiences while engaging them in the science of the ocean-drilling program. In collaboration with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s Deep Earth Academy, the AAM project is now a stand-alone curriculum package to be used in the classroom, independent of whether an expedition is in progress at sea.

Ocean Science Lesson Plans and Activities

  • Adopt-A-Microbe: Raising awareness about the wonders of ‘microbes’
  • Classroom Connections: Concepts and tools in deep ocean science originally developed for elementary special needs students now expanded to all ages and levels
  • Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s JOIDES Resolution Teacher Resources: Ocean drilling science
  • COSEE West/College of Exploration: C-DEBI and the deep biosphere (March 2011 Workshop, November/December 2011 Workshop, February/March 2012 Workshop, November 2013 Workshop)
  • EARTH: Marine biology, geology, chemistry, oceanography, technology and policy
  • ROVs: Design and construction of educational Remotely Operated underwater Vehicles (ROVs) from the simple PVC ROV to the Camera ROV to the very user friendly Catalina ROV
  • Ocean Literacy Principles:

Spanish Language Resources