The Science of Oceanography

Oceanography is “the branch of science dealing with physical and biological aspects of the oceans” ( Designing science projects for high school students that involve oceanography are simple and can be tied into a wide variety of other sciences. Oceanography involves chemistry, physics, geology, and biology as well as almost all the sub-sciences associated with these areas. About the only science that would be difficult to connect with Oceanography would be astronomy!

Chemistry can be involved by studying the chemistry of the water. Isolating compounds from sea water and then determining amounts. You could also check for trace amounts of pollution, study the chemical make up of different sands or go over how acidity could change the availability of those compound to creatures living in the sea.

Physics can be tied to oceanography projects by looking at wave action. How does it change over time and density of the water? How significant is the shape of the ocean floor on wave strength? What are the pressure differences as one goes deeper into the ocean and how does this affect chemical balance or the ocean creatures? All of these and more can be made into science projects involving the study of the seas and physics!

Geologically the ocean is as or more diverse than the land, and so Ocean Geology can be as well. Are the rocks form from volcanic activity on the ocean floor different from those formed on land? How do sedimentary rocks formed in different salinity differ in shape and composition? Are there specific types of geology found only in the depths of the ocean? Oceanography is the study of the entire marine environment and geology is part of it!

Biology is where oceanography projects can really be done. The oceans cover over 70% of the plant and contain some of the most varied and unusual form of life on the planet. Symbiotic relationships of organisms living there are still being documented and discovered, new creatures are constantly being found ranging from tiny microscopic lifeforms to giant squids and eels. The high student often can’t help in these discoveries, but can use them as projects, designing displays to show what they are and how they work. You could take a small vial of fresh sea water and try to isolate out the organisms living in it, then extrapolate to the volume of just the Caribbean Sea! Look at sand and see what all parts of sea creatures go to form it!

The problem with Oceanography Science projects for high school students isn’t finding them, it is limiting them!