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The University of Southampton

Southampton scientists bring oceanography into the classroom

Published: 8 January 2004

Oceanographers in Southampton are helping teachers bring science to life in classrooms across the UK by developing multimedia teaching materials and activities that relate to global environmental issues such as climate change and sustainable development.

On Friday 9 January 2003, scientists from Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC) will hold a series of talks and demonstrations of their resources at the Association for Science Education's (ASE) annual meeting. These include the interactive Classroom@Sea website and the Oceans4schools web magazine.

Dr Simon Boxall, one of the scientists responsible for schools liaison and public understanding at SOC said: "The ASE meeting will be a chance for us to listen to teachers from across the country to see how we can enable them to bring their science lessons even more alive.

"As scientists, we can help teachers to inspire young people to consider science as a serious career. At SOC we are actively trying to make school pupils and the public aware that ocean and earth science is fun and exciting, and that most people can understand the ideas and implications for their every day lives.

"The oceans are a fascinating environment covering 70% of our planet. By going into schools with programmes such as Aim Higher, and developing multimedia materials, staff and students at SOC are helping bring the oceans to the classroom.

"We also bring the class to the oceans through organised school visits to SOC which involve practical field work and special summer schools for budding young scientists. During 2004 we will also be taking teachers to sea with us on a number of expeditions - from the mid-Atlantic to the Arctic - to experience oceanography first hand."

Related Staff Member

Notes for editors

  1. Classroom@Sea was set up as part of an international EU-funded research programme called EUROSTRATAFORM (EUROpean margin STRATA FORMation), which is investigating how sediment particles are transported from river mouths across the continental shelf down to the deep sea.
  2. EUROSTRATAFORM and the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are sponsoring the Classroom@Sea project, which is organised and run by scientists at Southampton Oceanography Centre.
  3. Oceans4schools is a web magazine created and maintained by a small group of scientists at Southampton Oceanography Centre who would like to share their love of oceanography with others.
  4. Aim Higher is a pilot scheme to get science students into schools. Universities work with schools to provide role models for potential science graduates and to give interested scientists a chance to try their hand at teaching.
  5. The Association for Science Education (ASE) is the professional association for teachers of science (
  6. Southampton Oceanography Centre is a joint venture between the University of Southampton and NERC. It is a centre of excellence in marine sciences, earth sciences and marine technology (
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