Dr. Robert & Gladys Dunn Grant: Enhancing Student Learning with Coral Reef Aquariums

  • School Year: 2016-2017
  • Applicants: Anthony Wasley, Lead Teacher
  • School: Hall High School
  • Subjects: Science, Technology

The Coral Reef Aquarium provides a real world opportunity for Hall High School students to learn the scientific principles of marine ecosystems, biology and chemistry, and the scientific method through the care of a large-scale saltwater reef tank integrated into a science classroom. This 90 gallon saltwater aquarium stocked with corals and reef fish will generate student interest and engagement in marine science while presenting an opportunity to learn the diverse set of skills required to maintain a sensitive marine habitat. This project greatly enhances science inquiry in marine biology class and in other high school science subjects by providing hands-on experiences for science and engineering students. The tank serves as a visual aid for biology, physics, chemistry, earth science, ecology, and environmental science. Another key component of this project is for students to grow and fragment corals as part of a collaboration with other marine science teachers and students in Connecticut to create an eco-friendly “Coral Bank”. Corals will be grown, harvested, and exchanged with educators and hobbyists in New England to promote local aquaculture and raise awareness of the damage caused by poaching corals.

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