ORSEA connects math and science educators with scientists to create and pilot lessons centered around marine-focused anchoring phenomena.

ORSEA supports data science education and ocean literacy, while also exposing students to a variety of marine-related careers. This project is funded by Oregon Sea Grant and the National Science Foundation through OSU's Regional Class Research Vessel Project.

Anchoring Phenomena Lessons

Who Participates in ORSEA?

In the first two years of the ORSEA project, 25 Oregon educators and 14 Oregon scientists participated, producing a total of 15 lessons focused on marine science anchoring phenomena.


In year one and two, ORSEA educators came from the following school districts: Bandon, Lincoln County, Neah-Kah-Nie, North Bend, Port Orford, Seaside, Siuslaw, and Tillamook. Teachers from two private schools in the Portland area have also participated in ORSEA, and one informal educator from the Siuslaw Watershed Council.


In year one and two, ORSEA scientists were affiliated with the following institutions and organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State University, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and University of Oregon's Charleston Marine Life Center.

    ORSEA Cohort 2021-22

    This year, 10 marine scientists and 20 teachers will participate in the ORSEA Project.


    Year three teachers are from the following school districts: Bandon, Brookings, Coquille, Lincoln County, Salem-Keizer, North Bend, Portland, Tillamook, and Warrenton. Four teachers are affiliated with public charter/alternative schools, and one teacher is based at Chemawa Indian School.


    Year three scientists are from Oregon State University, University of Oregon, and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.



      ORSEA Vision

      ORSEA connects educators and marine researchers around important ocean issues, career-connected learning, and effective science communication practices. 

      1. Marine scientists receive training in communicating science and share their research and career stories with teachers and students.
      2. Teachers work with researchers to develop engaging, contextualized, relevant lessons that meet educational goals.
      3. Networks are developed and sustained that address important ocean issues, increase science literacy, and help prepare students for the future.

      Anchoring Phenomena

      ORSEA teams create lesson plans centered around Anchoring Phenomena.

      What is an Anchoring Phenomenon?
      From Phenomena for NGSS:  An Anchoring Phenomenon is "a unit level event that the classroom is trying to make sense of as they engage in a series of lessons...[T]he questions the students ask about the anchor drive the learning within the unit, the anchor should be complex and require an understanding of several big science ideas to explain."

      The ORSEA project is based upon work supported by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, as well as the National Science Foundation Regional Class Research Vessels under Cooperative Agreement No. 1333564 Award: OCE-1748726. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.