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.

ORSEA logo 2020-2021

Featured Lessons

Who Participates in ORSEA?

In the first three years of the ORSEA project, 42 Oregon educators and 24 Oregon scientists participated to produce a total of 25 lessons focused on marine science anchoring phenomena. New lessons from year three are being added ORSEA website throughout the Fall.


In past years, ORSEA educators have come from the following 11 coastal school districts: Bandon, Brookings, Coquille, Lincoln County, Neah-Kah-Nie, North Bend, Port Orford, Seaside, Siuslaw, Tillamook, and Warrenton. Teachers from schools in Portland and Salem have also participated in ORSEA, as well as one informal educator from the Siuslaw Watershed Council.


In past years, 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, University of Oregon, and University of Oregon's Charleston Marine Life Center.

    ORSEA Kickoff - Nov/Dec 2022


    This year, seven Marine Scientists and 11 Educators are participating in the ORSEA Project. 

    • MS and HS EDUCATORS are from Coos Bay, Eugene, Gresham, Halfway, Molalla, Rainier, Salem, Sheridan, and Sherwood. 
    • MARINE SCIENTISTS are from Oregon State University and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    ORSEA began with a webinar in November and an in person workshop December 3rd and 4th, and have been followed by monthly online check-ins in the winter and spring. Participants are working in teams to design and implement a marine-themed unit that integrates both math and science concepts. Teachers will determine when during the spring semester to try their activities/lessons with their students. Teams will have through July of 2023 to complete and submit a unit write-up, and a Capstone event will be held in August 2023.

      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.