Inspiring future marine and data scientists through the lure of Ocean Tracks

TitleInspiring future marine and data scientists through the lure of Ocean Tracks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKochevar R.E, Krumhansl R., Krumhansl K., Peach C.L, Bardar E., Louie J., Sickler J., Mueller-Northcott J., Busey A., LaVita S., DeLisi J.
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Date Published2015/08
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0025-3324
Accession NumberWOS:000361344000011
Keywordsbig data; data literacy; marine science data science; Ocean Tracks

The Oceans of Data Institute and Education Development Center, Inc., Stanford University, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been collaborating over the past five years on ambitious efforts via three NSF-funded projects to bring large scientific datasets into secondary and post-secondary classrooms. These efforts have culminated in the development of a student interface to marine science data called Ocean Tracks, which instantiates design principles developed based on a broad range of research findings in fields such as cognitive science, visual design, mathematics education, and learning science. The Ocean Tracks interface was tested in high school classrooms in spring and fall of 2014 with a total of 195 high school students. These tests indicated that students were able to select and display animal tracks and oceanographic data overlays with relative ease, focusing their cognitive resources on extracting meaningful information pertaining to the relationship between animal movements and the ocean environment. Teachers and students indicated that working with real data provides an inherently engaging learning environment, pointing to the tremendous potential for "big data" to transform the way science is taught. Interest among college faculty in Ocean Tracks indicated a need in undergraduate classrooms for similar tools that allow students to interact with data. So in fall of 2015 we began carrying out a needs assessment in undergraduate oceanography classes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and at Palomar College, where we will also be developing curriculum and conducting classroom tests. Preliminary results from this work will be presented here.

Short TitleMar. Technol. Soc. J.
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