The Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education, in partnership with H2O and funded by a grant from the Ewing Halsell Foundation, is focusing on the oyster as Mother Nature’s water treatment plant in our bays and estuaries.
Oysters filter sediments and other matter from the water of bays and estuaries, keeping the water clean. It’s important to protect oysters and where they live – the oyster reef – to keep our bays and estuaries healthy. Many other organisms in bays and estuaries use oyster reefs as a place to live. Oysters and oyster reefs are an important part of the ecosystem in our bays and estuaries.
For all these reasons oysters and the reefs they produce make an excellent subject for study about water and water quality.
Video and educational programming produced by the Center for Geographic Education will showcase two of H2O’s important initiatives: 1) to “develop critical thinking skills” using advanced technology, and 2) to provide “hands-on experience” to students.
The class that will be featured in the video will visit an oyster reef, observe oysters and other creatures living in the reef, and take water samples to test water chemistry and physical characteristics of the water.
Educators at the Harte Research Institute and Texas State Aquarium will be involved in developing content. Researchers from the Center for Geographic Education will evaluate the success of experiential activities on student learning. Filming and production will be done by the Agency for Instructional Technology.
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H2O (Headwaters to Ocean) is a cooperative project sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and funding partner, the Ewing Halsell Foundation which supports the project H2O. H2O is an experiential, technology-enhanced education program focused on water, from headwaters to the ocean (http://www.water-texas.org)