BIOS rewriting the biology text book
High school biology classes are in for a change, courtesy of a new text book involving the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
Massachusetts Tabor Academy will work with BIOS and marine institutions in New England, to produce a biology text book geared more towards the ocean than the land.
Biology is a required subject for almost all high school students, said BIOS education coordinator JP Skinner. An understanding of the structure and interrelationship of life on our planet is considered essential knowledge. But throughout the history of biology education, teachers have explained concepts with reference to terrestrial life. You want to explain photosynthesis? Lets look at a bean plant. Cell structure? Zoom in on a leaf. Ecology? Lets look at a forest ecosystem.
Yet, two-thirds of our planet is covered by ocean. In fact, the vast majority of life is found in the sea, the greatest diversity of life is aquatic and the health of the ocean is essential to the health of the planet. A growing recognition of these facts among educators has resulted in a new focus on ocean literacy in the classroom.
Tabor teacher John Crosby is spearheading the initiative. He has assembled a board of scientists, ocean experts and educators to write the ground-breaking textbook, Oceans First. It will teach all of the required biology objectives, but will draw material and inspiration from the marine world.
As a result, students will first look at plants that grow in the ocean when studying photosynthesis. Although such plants arent as well known as those on land, they actually make most of the oxygen that keeps us alive.
They are really fun to grow in the classroom, said Mr Skinner.
He said the concept should be particularly fascinating to young people, with the ocean the real final frontier on the planet as only five percent of it has been documented.
That should provide plenty of motivation for students to dive headlong into their investigations, he said.
Mr Skinner, along with a panel of international scientists and Dr Mike Lomas from BIOS, is helping to write and edit the lessons to be included in the textbook. Additional resources are being designed including websites, teacher workshops, and virtual field trip opportunities.
It is here that BIOS is playing a leading role, said Mr Skinner. Real-life exploration is a huge motivator and when students get to participate, even virtually, their understanding takes off. Naturally, the research carried out at BIOS and around Bermuda is a perfect fit.
He said climate change was a good example of how this works. Bermuda is considered one of the planets barometers, because it is one of the best locations anywhere to study and address the climate change issue.
Climate change will be covered by Oceans First, said Mr Skinner. In fact, it is a great way to teach required material like currents and plant growth and the acidity of the ocean. A teacher might ask how does the Gulf Stream affect ocean temperatures? Lets look at the information BIOS scientists have collected in Bermuda.
Anger at government silence in town meeting
Judge: claim against law firm can proceed
Cookie company is sweet success for teenager
Somerset must take ‘stern action’
Davy guilty of heroin smuggling
Correctional and spiritual guidance
End of an era as Bluck’s closes its doors
A response to the Premier: stop it!
Wyer suffers racist abuse from Trojans fans
Blakeney leaves gaming commission
Social media helps identify avocado thief
Planned developments to add 240 rooms
Sentence extended for gas station theft
Take Our Poll
- "Your new year's resolutions for 2019"
- Quit smoking
- Quit drinking/drink in moderation
- Do not drink and drive
- Lose weight
- Stop procrastinating
- Drive with greater care
- Total Votes: 2607
- Poll Archive