Education Resources

Cue Plankton: Ocean Timekeepers

Cue Plankton: Ocean Timekeepers is a lesson developed for high school students to explore a particular species of zooplankton, a copepod, known as Pleuromamma xiphias. The lesson looks at the process of diel vertical migration (DVM) and an organism’s ability to demonstrate predictable, daily cycles of fluctuation, known as circadian rhythms. The purpose of the lesson is to understand the structure of the water column at one of BIOS’s spatial stations, Hydrostation ‘S’, in the Sargasso Sea. The lesson explores circadian rhythms and timing of fecal pellet production by P. xiphas. Students will utilize the freeware ‘Image J’ to analyze photographs taken from a research cruise at BIOS in March 2019. The lesson plan, worksheetCTD Data, and fecal pellet stack data were supported by NSF grant #1829318.

Many of the below Ocean Academy resources were produced as a result of numerous partnerships through the BIOS Explorer program, retired in April 2015. Explorer has been superseded by Mid-Atlantic Robotics IN Education (MARINE).


The HSBC Explorer theme in 2014 was Mid-Atlantic Robotics IN Education (MARINE). Capitalizing on BIOS’s acquisition of a Glider (autonomous underwater robot), BIOS is working to bring cutting-edge technology to Bermudian schools. Exploring some of the applications of remotely operated vehicles in Bermuda, the lesson plans below utilize data from BIOS’s glider “Anna”, and investigate the engineering concepts that support the design of underwater vehicles.

Lesson Plan: Where in The World am I? Using Latitude and Longitude

Lesson Plan: How to Pilot a Glider – Ocean Robot Navigation Using Vectors and Dead Reckoning

Lesson Plan: Creating Neutral Buoyancy in ROVs


The HSBC Explorer theme in 2013 was The Secret Life of Fish and lessons explored some of the adaptations of fish in Bermuda. The lessons bring real data from mapping fish populations and fish data collection into the classroom. The program looked at coral reefs through the eyes of the fish that call it home. The lessons are based on data collected by students, volunteers and scientists in Bermuda using accessible freeware.

Lesson Plan: “Gone Fishin’: Sizing Lionfish in the Atlantic

This lesson provides students with the opportunity to become a fisheries biologist and to look at the process of taking fisheries data. Students will learn about the type of analysis that a fisheries biologist would use to estimate the damage caused by the presence of lionfish on ecosystems. This lesson involves a fishing pond where students catch paper fish (with a magnet, rod and string), collect data about the fish, and answer questions about their catch. Estimated time for lesson: 45 minutes. Grade level: year 4-6 (UK) grade 3-5 (US).

Lesson Plan: “Go Fish: Matching Fish Adaptations

Knowledge of six species of reef fish that frequent Bermuda’s waters will be improved through playing a matching game. Students will combine their understanding with clues written on cards to identify fish species through matching their mouth, body, tail and food source on cards. Students will gain a better understanding of the adaptations these fish have that allow them to survive on coral reefs. Estimated time for lesson: 45 minutes. Grade level: year 4-6 (UK) grade 3-5 (US).

Lesson Plan: “Making a Bermuda FishMAP: Basics of an ArcGIS Layer

These lessons focus on using online resources and real data to make online maps of the distribution of fish sighting frequencies in Bermuda. Lessons combine using the online database of and the program to map Geographical Positioning System (GPS) points showing sighting frequency recordings of many of Bermuda’s fish. Estimated time for lesson: 1 hour 30 minutes. Grade level: secondary (UK) 6-8 (US).

Lesson Plan: “Becoming a Fisheries Biologist: Sizing Lionfish in the Atlantic

The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to become a fisheries biologist, giving them the opportunity to bring together their science, math, and technology skills. This lesson uses real lionfish data from photos and the freeware Image J to measure these photos. Using their own measurements and the downloadable graph, students can estimate the age of their fish cohort. Estimated time for lesson: 1 hour 30 minutes. Grade level: year 9-13 (UK) 8-12 (US).


The HSBC Explorer theme in 2012 was “Expedition Sargasso” and took students and teachers on an exploration of Sargasso Sea science. Lesson plans highlight the unique Sargasso Sea foodwebs, currents and circulation, ocean acidification, and increase understanding of the ocean in our own backyard.  The lessons are easily adapted for teachers of marine science, mathematics, and language arts.  In addition to the three main “Expedition Sargasso” lesson plans, there is also a series of resources to help develop students’ background knowledge and further develop the ideas presented.

Ocean Acidification
Lesson Plan: “You be the Chemist: Investigation of Ocean Acidification

This experiment–using readily available materials–allows students to understand how changes in the acidity of the ocean can affect marine organisms.

A Sargassum Food Web

Lesson Plan: “Life in the Weeds: A Sargassum Food Web

Did you know there are over 70 unique marine organisms that live in the Sargassum weed?  This doesn’t even take into account the animals that use the seaweed for part of their life cycles!  This lesson investigates the tangled web of critters endemic to the Sargassum.

The Coriolis Effect

Lesson Plan: “Investigating Gyre Science: The Coriolis Effect

Did you know there are five gyres in the world ocean? Did you know these gyres move clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere?  Find out why this happens in this simple, but engaging, activity!


In 2011, “Tools and Techniques for Exploration” was the Explorer theme.

Lesson Plan: “Becoming a Marine Archaeologist

Lesson Plan: “Calculating Benthic Cover on Coral Reefs

Lesson Plan: “Raising the Titanic

Lesson Plan: “Sink or Float, Cartesian Diver


The BIOS Explorer theme in 2010 was “Water Moves” and lessons are easily adapted for teachers of marine science, mathematics, and language arts.

Chemical Oceanography

Lesson Plan: “Too Much of a Good Thing

Depth Lab and Datasets

Lesson Plan: “Charting the Depths

Field Journaling

Lesson Plan: “Field Journal

Physical Oceanography – Water on Water

Lesson Plan: “Water on Water: Physical Ocean Lab


Lesson Plan: “The Drifters