Texas Aquatic Science is a cooperative education project sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife, The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Texas Aquatic Science was modeled after the Missouri Department of Conservation‘s (MDC) curriculum, Conserving Missouri’s Aquatic Ecosystems.
Project Directors were Rudolph Rosen and Nancy Herron. Texas Aquatic Science was authored, adapted, and edited by Rudolph Rosen, Ph.D., who also designed the Texas Aquatic Science web site. Sandra Johnson, Ph.D. served as educational consultant and authored the accompanying Teacher Guide. Videos were produced by Randall Maxwell. Nancy Herron, Outreach and Education Director for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, provided leadership direction and review of the text and scripts, and Caleb Harris, TPWD aquatic education specialist, provided primary review of the educational content. Wes Tunnell, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Harte Research Institute provided special assistance on marine ecosystem science.
We wish to acknowledge the generous partnership of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), most specifically Mike Huffman, Regina Knauer, Jack Woodhead, Elaine Callaway, Melanie Carden-Jessen, and Mary Scott for their contribution, support for the project, and permission to use and adapt MDC text and materials in the production of Texas Aquatic Science.
Additional contributors and reviewers include Timothy Birdsong, David Bradsby, Lisa Brown, Valerie Bugh (larvalbug.com), Ron Coley, Luci Cook-Hildreth, Corpus Christi Caller Times, Kiki Corry, Shannon Davies, Kelly Drinnen, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Carolyn Chipman Evans, Chase Fountain, Stephan Magnelia, Dakus Geeslin, Mary Gomillion, Denise Gordon, Sharla Gutierrez, Jennifer Idol (the Underwater Designer), The In-Fisherman, Ron Kabele, Allison Knight, Gordon Linam, Cindy Loeffler, Stephan Magnelia, Jennifer Mandel Buratti, Karen Marks, Sam Massey, Randall Maxwell, Kevin Mayes, Captain Mike McBride, Larry McKinney, Heather Millar, Meredith Miller, Warren Pullich, Steve Quinn, Shelly Rosen, Margaret Russell, Olivia Sanchez, Andrew Sansom, Lindsay Sansom, Donna Shaver, Kris Shipman, Patt Sims, Cappy Smith, Lee Smith, Jessica Snyder, Greg Southard, Gail Sutton, Brenda Templeton, Travis Tidwell, Jace Tunnell, Emily Warren, Terry Wendland, Donna Work, Scott Yaich, and Brian Van Zee.
Special thanks go to funding partners, the Ewing Halsell Foundation, San Antonio and the Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The partners are committed to connecting young Texans to the natural world through inquiry based, experiential learning, and support of outdoor recreation and industries.
© Copyright 2013 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University; and The Hart Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Non-Commercial/Educational Use: The information, drawings, photos and/or other content on this website can be used for “noncommercial and/or educational” purposes as long as they are not reproduced for sale or presented as original works. Credit lines must be maintained if already displayed on this website. Reproduced information that is utilized verbatim should be credited as follows: “Information courtesy of Texas Aquatic Science partners: Texas Parks and Wildlife, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.”
* * * For Teachers Only * * *
Accompanying Texas Aquatic Science is a comprehensive Teacher Guide. The Teacher Guide is available to educators for free download at the following website addresses:
Texas Parks and Wildlife: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/learning/aquaticscience/
Texas State University: http://www.meadowscenter.txstate.edu/Education/Publications.html
Teacher Guide Description
Students are introduced to the wide variety of aquatic ecosystems through science investigations, games, models, cooperative learning activities, Internet projects, readings from the student guides, short videos, science journals, and field based assessments of water quality and environmental conditions in a variety of field trips. Students use multiple intelligences to learn and to demonstrate their new knowledge in creative products and performances.
The guide is linked to short videos, which provide an overview of the main ideas in each chapter and to Texas Aquatic Science, which provides clear concise scientific information in an interesting way with illustrations of important concepts, which help clarify major ideas. The curriculum looks at water from the molecular level to the level of aquatic ecosystems, providing activities to guide students through the understanding that the characteristics of the water molecule make it unique in its value to all of life, and conservation of water is a priority for all of us.
The activities are aligned with the state curriculum standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for sixth through eighth grade and for Aquatic Science and Environmental Science courses for high school.
Lessons in each chapter begin with an activity to allow the teacher to assess what students know about the concepts to be studied. Lessons embed higher order thinking skills, provide depth and complexity of learning, and provide a wide variety of hands-on activities that engage students in a variety of contexts and methods.
Each lesson includes an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned by synthesizing the information and demonstrating their learning by developing creative products or performances. Activities are designed to be inexpensive and to use the materials that are already in most classrooms. Teachers will find the activities easy to implement and fun for students. Teaching materials for some lessons such as aquatic organism game cards, posters, and videos are linked to the curriculum guide and easy for teachers to download and print or view.
Each chapter provides multiple opportunities for assessment. The first lesson in each chapter provides a formative assessment to help teachers plan for appropriate student learning and to help students focus on what is to come. In addition, every lesson has a component to allow students the opportunity to synthesize what they have learned and apply it in creative products and presentations. The student reading also includes questions at the beginning of the chapter, which help students know what to focus on in the reading. These questions help scaffold the reading level for younger students and provide another type of assessment for the teacher to consider. Student science journals are also useful for formative and summative assessments. Each field trip provides opportunities for performance assessment At the end of each chapter there are a multiple choice and open-ended questions for students along with an answer key. The open-ended questions have many possible answers.