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Dive in with supplemental content aligned to state education standards and infused with the excitement of scientific exploration. Paired with presentations and unique engagement with experts working in Aquarius, students will slip into the fins of aquanauts while learning key concepts.

Geared toward grades 6-8, suggestions to "Take It Up a Notch" or "Bring It Down a Level" help to accommodate learners at every stage.

A core component of the Aquarius Academy, the Mission Manual includes:

  • Four standard-aligned missions built on activity-based lessons with answer keys
  • A Digital Learning Management System with background presentations for each lesson in addition to supplemental and digital resources like videos, scientific publications and real-world data
  • A monthly "Meet the Scientist" video group chat with an FIU scientist who will share their current research and talk with students about careers in STEM
  • A one-day virtual professional development workshop for teachers to speak with Aquarius staff, learn about the curriculum and practice the lessons found in the manual. In-person workshops at additional cost are scheduled based on demand and availability at shore base in Islamorada, Florida

*Trainee nominated by district. Interactive, virtual workshops are available as part of the package. For an additional cost, in-person workshops are scheduled regionally based on demand at shore base in Islamorada, Florida, based on availability.

Mission 1: Living and Working Undersea

Learn about Aquarius Reef Base, saturation diving, gas laws and undersea exploration.

Lesson 1
Mayday!

Learn the logistics of living underwater and the bare necessities needed for survival. Work as a team through an emergency scenario to survive on board Aquarius.

Lesson 2
Boyle's Law

Explore atmospheric and hydrostatic pressure and how these pressures vary with altitude and depth. Learn
about how the weight of air and water exert pressure on a body while diving.

Lesson 3
Henry's Law

Conduct an activity that demonstrates this important law in action, then use dive tables to plan a trip to Aquarius. Understand how valuable the gift of time provided by Aquarius is.

Mission 2: Life on the Reef

Explore coral anatomy, reproduction and recruitment, fish identification and the importance of Marine  Protected Areas.

Lesson 1
Coral Creations

Build a coral structure using recycled items and knowledge of coral anatomy from the lesson. Put understanding of form and function into action by creating an anatomically correct model.

Lesson 2
Where in the World is My Coral Larvae?

Understand coral reproduction and elements of a healthy reef. Map the path of coral larvae considering
additional factors that impact when and where they settle.

Lesson 3
Fish Detective

Make observations of different fish species based on their anatomical features like mouth shape, fin shapes and body shape. Test knowledge through an interactive game.

Lesson 4
Connect to Protect

Learn the importance of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) through a field game and scenario that demonstrates the importance of protections to all stakeholders.

Mission 3: Changing Seas

Expose students to issues related to coral bleaching, ocean acidification and sea level rise using real data.

Lesson 1
Can You Take the Heat?

Act out a skit to understand the symbiotic relationship at play during coral bleaching. Use heat data to make predictions about future bleaching events around the world.

Lesson 2
More Acidity, More Problems

Use data to make projections about the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Review scientific papers on this issue and explain what has been learned.

Lesson 3
SOS - Rising Seas

Create a coastal community using Legos to understand what happens when ice sheets in Greenland begin to melt. Compare model to current NOAA sea level rise data.

Mission 4: Space Prep

Understand the similarities between living underwater and living in space. Explore the use of Automatic Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and Remote Operating Vehicles (ROVs) and what it means to simulate weightlessness.

Lesson 1
Designing an AUV

Explore engineering principles behind underwater robot design and how they relate to locomotion in aquatic animals. Construct a model Autonomous Underwayer Vehicle (AUV).

Lesson 2
Buoyancy - From Space to Sea

Review the physical principles that affect the work of diving scientists, astronauts in space and how the underwater world can be used as a simulation for weightlessness.

Lesson 3
The Best Analog

Learn why astronauts use Aquarius to test equipment, practice being in a confined space and simulate tasks that need to be done in space.