Oceanscape Network Encourages Teens to Take Technology Outdoors

January 13, 2014

Newport, Oregon—The Oregon Coast Aquarium launched the Oceanscape Network on Monday as a new online resource for teenagers and teachers to explore the coast’s natural wonders, whether from confines of an inland classroom or one of Oregon’s windswept beaches.

The Oceanscape Network is designed to bring what the coast has to offer in natural science education to urban centers and inland communities. “The Aquarium’s mission is to connect people with aquatic and marine environments. The Oceanscape Network is the latest addition to the many free educational resources we offer to extend learning opportunities beyond the onsite experience,” said Carrie Lewis, President/CEO of the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Behavioral studies indicate that young people continue to spend an increasing amount of time staring at electronic screens, and less outdoors. The Oceanscape Network leverages the technology teenagers are already using to connect them with nature and the environment.

Steve Moore, Executive Director for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust that provided a grant for the website’s development said, “We were delighted about the Oceanscape Network project for its creative integration of technology into the natural environment experience to support students and teachers in the classroom.”

Ocean studies are generally not part of school curriculums or standardized testing, so the Aquarium’s education staff developed the Oceanscape Network to bridge this learning gap. The website’s free inquiry-based science modules will assist Oregon high school students complete a pre-requisite for graduation, while helping their teachers integrate environmental literacy into the classroom without starting from scratch. Teachers from across Oregon are already registered to use this new resource.

The website seamlessly transitions between its formal and informal education features. Outdoor recreation guides connect education to personal experiences on the ground, to encourage science-based learning and conservation action beyond the classroom.

The Oceanscape Network also lets users submit photos and videos, share stories or sightings of wild animals, and connect not only to others their age through social media feeds, but also staff at the Aquarium. This interaction between a credible source of marine science information and young adults encourages teenagers to act as citizen scientists in their daily lives.

Although designed specifically for pre-teens and teens, internet users of all ages are encouraged to explore the Oceanscape Network at http://oceanscape.aquarium.org/.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is open every day this winter from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information visit aquarium.org or call (541) 867-3474.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so that the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, (541) 867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.

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Note to the media: Photos available here.