Explore our innovative K-12 curriculum for ocean and fresh water stewardship

Experience hands-on, inquiry-based BlueSTEM curricular units spanning Kindergarten through High School. Transform teaching and learning in class or remotely, and inspire your students with BlueTech and optimism.

These eight modules in each unit are designed with today’s educators and students – and our shared Blue Future – in mind

Engineering & Design Thinking

Students gain insight into problems affecting the environment through engaging in the design thinking process.

Exhibition of Learning

Students invite the public to celebrate learning and spread AquaOptimism.

Hands-on Investigations

Students continue to make sense of the phenomenon through hands-on investigations that build their conceptual understanding.

Student Action

Students engage in community action designed to build greater awareness, compel others to act, and make visible their own capacity to lead change.

Inquiry Launch

Each unit launches with a phenomenon that taps into students’ natural curiosity and natural inclination as learners.

Career Connections

Students engage in the world beyond the classroom through BlueTech career connections designed to inspire awareness and exploration in the BlueTech world.

Student-led Research

Students' questions propel further inquiry and engagement in the scientific process.

Reflection & Assessment

Students reflect on their learning as they continue to grow as scientists, engineers, literate citizens, and AquaOptimists.

AquaOptimism BlueSTEM units are

Transformative

Elementary school

The K-5 AquaOptimism units introduce students to ocean and fresh water ecosystems. New space-related units will associate Earth observation to the One Water Cycle. Students learn to engage in inquiry, prototype solutions through design thinking, and develop awareness of the power of their voices in raising awareness and promoting stewardship. Blue Career options are introduced to nurture curiosity and a sense of possibility.

Kindergarten

ONE WATER CYCLE: “S” Is For Stewardship

Students explore the ocean environment and some of the marine animals that call it home. They learn about human impact, and design and advocate for care.
First Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: The Power of Kelp

Students engage with the kelp forest as a complex marine ecosystem. They design for positive human interaction with the ecosystem, and advocate for awareness of the benefits of kelp.
Second Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: From Mountain to Sea

Students explore the flow of rivers, and the ways rivers impact human life. They design to raise awareness and advocate for the care of these vital water resources.
Third Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: Marine Naturalists

Students explore the many habitats within the ocean ecosystem, their own local ecosystems, and the relationship between them. They design and advocate for awareness of this relationship, and the need to care for the ocean no matter where we live.
Fourth Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: Wild About Water

Students learn to distinguish between fossil and renewable energy sources. They design for the consideration of water as a key part of our energy future, and advocate for renewable options.
Fifth Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: Water for our Future

Students learn about challenges related to fresh water, design water purification, and explore innovative approaches to conserving water.

Middle school

The 6th-8th grade AquaOptimism units delve into ecosystems, human impact, and awareness of water as a precious resource with greater depth and complexity. Prototyping becomes more detailed, advocacy is newly energized, and Blue Career awareness more defined.

Sixth Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: Ocean Trash - The Last Straw

Students study specific human impacts on water ecosystems. They design and advocate for changes in daily habits to reverse current trends.
Seventh Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: Ocean Chemistry is Anything BUT Basic

Students immerse in the effects of global climate change and the impacts on the ocean and sea life. They design and advocate to expand understanding.
Eighth Grade

ONE WATER CYCLE: Water You Think About That?

Students delve further into the lack of access to clean drinking water in many parts of the world. They design more complex water filtration systems, and advocate for their use.

High school

The High School AquaOptimism units are designed by branch of science rather than grade level for greater flexibility. They immerse students in complex disciplinary concepts and emphasize Blue Career options.

Grades 9-12: Earth Science

ONE WATER CYCLE: Reimagining Fuel or Green Power

Students study environmental issues in their own towns and cities. They design and advocate for business proposals that raise awareness of alternative energy sources with a more positive impact on the environment.
Grades 9-12: Biology

ONE WATER CYCLE: Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet

Students engage in research to discern the impact of pollutants on the ocean. They generate and prototype biomimicry solutions that will create a sustainable environment for our Blue Future.
Grades 9-12: Physics

ONE WATER CYCLE: Salmon Cannon

Students investigate the positive and negative impacts of innovations, honing in on the engineering of dams. They design solutions to man-made problems, and advocate for increasingly sustainable design.
Grades 9-12: Chemistry

ONE WATER CYCLE: Climate Change and the Ocean Habitat

Students investigate the impact of climate change on the ocean's habitat. They research climate extremes and the natural phenomenons that occur in water based on temperature variance, and advocate for awareness and care.

Bring the innovative power of AquaOptimism to your classroom