Outreach and Education

The Texas Seagrass Classroom Module

University of Texas Marine Science Institute & Port Aransas ISD & Flour Bluff ISD

We have developed a lesson plan revolving around Texas’ seagrasses using the “Data Nuggets” framework. Every semester we partner with teachers in local school districts, join them in the classroom, and work together to learn about seagrasses. These activities target multiple standards for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) and provide students the ability to learn through interacting with their local environment.

M.S. student Sofia Armada Tapia in the field with students from Flour Bluff ISD teaching them about the anatomy of seagrasses and the numerous organisms that live in seagrass meadows.

UT Summer Science

University of Texas Marine Science Institute & Mission-Aransas Reserve

Join real scientists in a quest for scientific discovery. We will explore local environments and investigate real-world science disciplines in the field and in the lab.

This program brings scientific concepts to life in order to gain deeper understanding of the marine environment. Students are immersed in field and lab experiences developing skills in problem-solving, teamwork, and the scientific method. The Texas Seagrass Monitoring Program supports outreach and education opportunities, such as the UT Summer Science Program.

Summer Science Seagrass Module

The Seagrass Module is a core component of the K-12 Summer Science Program. Our goal is to increase students’ understanding of why seagrasses are important to us and identify the things control their abundance and survival. Students will learn what seagrasses are by sharing their own personal experiences with seagrasses to the class. They will demonstrate a basic understanding of photosynthesis and learn the importance of light for these benthic (bottom dwelling) plants. Additionally, they will be able to identify the factors that cause the water to become very dark brown or green and describe how these factors impact seagrasses. Students will get muddy as they process seagrass cores and carefully describe the plant’s structure and morphology. They will apply their observations to determine how these characteristics contribute to their ecological role in coastal habitats. They will also observe the epifuana (organisms that are attached to seagrass leaves) and infauna (organisms living in the mud). At the end of the day, we hope that students can tell us about the value of seagrasses, their importance, what endangers them, and how we can protect them.

Summer Science students share their seagrass experiences with the class
2019 Summer Science Worksheet