Exploring Science with Technology

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Babylon High School’s Marine Science class has been studying the basic principles of oceanography and marine biology as it relates to the community’s local marine ecosystems, including the barrier beaches and brackish marshes and canals. 

As part of the course, students are required to conduct more than 12 hands-on marine organism dissections, analyze real data on marine populations and migrations moving through the Fire Island Inlet, and emphasize the dynamics between humans and marine organisms/ecosystems. This year, they are digitalizing their work using the district’s Chromebooks and Google Classroom module.

“The computers have changed this hands-on class into a really practical one,” said teacher Mary Beth Schappert. “Students are not only learning marine science, but are now learning new technological skills when they complete their classwork.  This digital classroom is preparing these students to be more college and career ready by teaching them to navigate and organize their schoolwork in Google Drive, a skill that has now become a necessity in college.”

Students are learning how to document and digitize their weekly specimen dissections, collaborate with other students using shared documents, and are analyzing actual marine data from scientists around the world.  For example, when studying fish migrations, the class analyzed pages of data provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation of actual tagged fish moving through the Fire Island Inlet during the last fishing season. They also followed and monitored the migration locations of several tagged species of seals, sea turtles and dolphins along the east coast of the U.S. and in the Caribbean.