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AH! The Ocean!

The oceans unite us. Reaching from continent to continent, from culture to culture, the oceans touch all people. The oceans challenge us to understand and protect them. Since time began, the salty waters have awaited human interaction. Cool ocean breezes invite people to the shores. The foods of the sea tempt fishers to cast their nets. Deep, buoyant waters lead shipmakers to their craft.

In the past, cultures around the world have used the oceans for survival and for transportation, but have also taken the oceans for granted. The vast supply of water seemed beyond harm. How could we hurt the oceans?

In the present, we continue to use the oceans to our advantage, yet we also know more than ever before about the undersea world. Technology has enabled scientists to study the oceans to greater depths and wider horizons. We also now know that the oceans can be harmed and that pollution threatens cultures around the world. Once again, the salty waters await human interaction. Now, and for the future, the ocean calls people to help, to protect the oceans from themselves.

One school, located in the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accepted the challenge to oversee the ocean. The Douglass School students visited the Atlantic Ocean and investigated its ecosystem. Follow along on their real ocean journey. Then, come back and take your own online ocean journey.

The Douglass School at the Seashore

Your online ocean voyage will take you to websites around the world where you'll explore the latest ocean information. Dive into the undersea world and, like the students at the Douglass School, accept your challenge to oversee the oceans' future.

Understand the Oceans

Begin by browsing these web resources. Explore the basic chemistry of the oceans. Learn about the seaside ecosystems. Make your summer beach vacation more meaningful.

Why is the Ocean Salty?
Top Ten Questions About the Ocean
A Chesapeake Bay Primer
Carolina Coast Research
Ask a Marine Scientist
Eventual Weather

Undersea Life

Don't forget that the oceans are home to thousands of living things. No ocean journey would be complete without paying a visit to the underwater habitats of these living things.

Secrets of the Ocean Realm

Classroom Resources

These websites offer ideas for learning about the ocean in a classroom setting. Of course, anyone may find the activities interesting.

Ocean: Classroom Activities
Marine Education Topic Links
Ocean Unit of Study
Lessons and Activities

Career Resources

So, you've completed your ocean journey and you think it sounds like something you'd enjoy doing for real. Explore these resources to learn more about careers in ocean-related fields.

Ask an Oceanographer
Careers in Marine Science

In partnership with WHYY, The Franklin Institute Online celebrated the United States' participation in EXPO '98, from May 22 through September 30, 1998. The United Nations declared 1998 to be the "International Year of the Ocean" and EXPO '98 highlighted that idea in its own theme: "The Oceans - a Heritage for the Future."

"Undersea and Oversee" is inspired by these themes and by the work of the students and teachers at the Douglass School, located in the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Resources for Science Learning at The Franklin Institute, Copyright 2007 The Franklin Institute, 220 North Twentieth Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, 215-448-1200,