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Marine Education Center

Teacher Programs

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The Marine Education Center offers professional development programs for K-12 classroom teachers. These programs cover an assortment of marine and coastal processes and current issues, and are sponsored through a variety of sources.mec

Teaching Resources

A Classroom Course in Community Resilience

Community Resilience in the Classroom promotes K-12 student awareness of watersheds and their connections to the Gulf of Mexico through classroom and field instruction in climate change and rising sea level, especially high tide flooding and increased storm surge. Students work in teams to address an authentic challenge in community resilience. Selected teams from each school compete in a Stewardship Summit judged by community resilience professionals. Since 2016, over 1000 students from 12 schools in Mississippi and Alabama have completed the program in person or virtually. This program was developed through a grant from NOAA's Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET) and in partnership with Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Curriculum.


Sturgeon in the Watershed



The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience in the Mississippi Sound watersheds. The Project uses previously developed classroom and field elements of map use and water sampling to teach students basic watershed concepts. New content introduces habitat use of the Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers by the endangered Gulf Sturgeon as a way of discussing natural and human changes occurring in watersheds where participating students live and learn. Curriculum.



Upcoming Programs

SeaPerch and Blue Tech


seaperchThis workshop is affiliated with the International SeaPerch Challenge.


SeaPerch Blue Tech Flyer

October 27-28, 2023

Engage students with hands-on engineering and underwater robotics experience through SeaPerch and Blue Technology Field Days.

This two-day workshop is designed to prepare teachers to get involved with STEM and Blue Technologies through the SeaPerch competition. Teachers will learn about the competition and how to guide students in building their own remotely operated vehicles to compete in the regional SeaPerch competition. Winning teams have a chance for a paid trip to the international SeaPerch Challenge where they can compete for scholarships! By the end of this workshop, teachers will be equipped to teach students to build and operate their vehicles, and will understand the rules needed to create teams and enter them into their regional competition. Participants will learn from ocean engineers and hydrography researchers as they demonstrate the use of some of the most advanced ocean technologies! 

CEU’s and stipend available.


Changing Coastlines

changing coastlines

masgcThis workshop is sponsored by Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.

June 2024

This workshop for STEM teachers highlights how coastal ecosystems change in response to processes like storms and sea level rise. The workshop will focus on the history and ecology of Deer Island. Teachers will explore transitions among beach, marsh, upland, and subtidal habitats during a field excursion to collect elevation profile data. Teachers will synthesize the data for comparison with past data collection efforts. This workshop offers teachers the opportunity to learn outdoors and gain the knowledge to teach advanced marine science subjects, including coastal restoration and resilience. Teachers will receive stipend and CEU support. This workshop is sponsored by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.


Classroom Course in Community Resilience


Gulf Guardian Award-winning program


        This project is sponsored by the NASA Science Activation Program

June 2024 

Are your students worried about the future and climate change?

Join us for this workshop on promoting community resilience to coastal hazards like rising sea level. Participating teachers (7th-12th grade) will work in teams to explore historic flooding in their neighborhoods, consider factors that increase community resilience, address an authentic community resilience challenge, and present their solution. They will model the activity and receive the manual to instruct their students. Selected teams of students that complete the module will be invited to present solutions to resilience professionals at the MEC Stewardship Summit. This workshop is a collaboration with USM’s Marine Education Center and MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center through the NASA SCI-ACT project.

Each workshop requires submission of a separate registration form. Space is limited so register early! For additional information or questions about upcoming programs please contact us at 228-818-8095 or marine.educationFREEMississippi.

CEUs are available for teachers through the University of Southern Mississippi and the Southern Regional Education Service Agency (S-RESA). The number of CEUs awarded is specific to each program. Participants must register through S-RESA to obtain CEU credit. 

Overnight Lodging: Participants who are traveling for the program may reserve a room in the GCRL dormitory if space is available. We can also recommend several local hotels. Please call for information.
Directions to the Marine Education Center: 
Google "Gulf Coast Research Laboratory CEDAR POINT CAMPUS"
What to Bring / Field Gear
• Closed-Toe Shoes-shoes (required) that you don’t mind getting wet and sandy!
• Sunscreen
• Sunglasses
• Hat
• Bug Repellent 
• Water Bottle 
• Field Clothes 
• Motion Sickness Medication (vessel based programs)
• Camera 
• Waterproof case/bag for electronics


All field programs are subject to substitution of activities or postponement for poor weather. We will inform registered participants of any changes via email.

Contact Us

Marine Education Center
101 Sweet Bay Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

GCRL - Cedar Point

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