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Marine Biology & Oceanography | 2023-24

Marine Biology & Oceanography

In this live online Marine Biology & Oceanography class, high school homeschoolers will collaborate with their teacher and peers to develop an understanding of how we impact the ocean and how, in turn, the ocean impacts our lives.

  • Students taking this integrated science course will study the chemical, physical, and biological components of the ocean.

  • Marine Biology & Oceanography is divided into three units of study: the ocean environment, organisms of the sea, and structure and function of marine ecosystems. 


Class Details

  • Marine Biology & Oceanography is a full-year lab-science class. It is an advanced high school science class.

  • Tuition: $700

  • Instructor: Marcy Swisher

  • Instructor video about the class

  • Dates : August 28, 2023, 2022-May 3, 2024

    • See our FAQ for complete dates and breaks.

  • Weekly Live Class: Monday 12-1 p.m. Eastern

  • Grade level/prerequisites:

    • This class is for 10th-12th graders (15+).

    • Students must have successfully completed a high school-level Biology class. Completion of a high school Chemistry class is helpful but not required.

    • ​For age/grade guidelines, prerequisites, and class-fit recommendations for all classes, please see our FAQ.

  • Class size: 10-12

  • Course materials are listed HERE.

  • Format: Zoom and an online classroom.

    • Please note: live classes are not lectures. Students will be actively discussing their coursework and collaborating with their peers each week, and in order to do that, they should plan to keep their webcams on and participate.

    • Regular attendance in live classes is not optional in this class, but we certainly understand that "life happens." Since there will be the occasional reason that live attendance is not possible, the instructor will work with the student to keep them caught up.

  • All Blue Tent science courses are NCAA-approved.


Foundational Elements

This course will be taught using the "flipped classroom" model.

  • Students will prepare for class by completing weekly assignments and activities. Those may include textbook reading, videos, podcasts, or current articles.

    • Before each live class, students must complete weekly notes. These are their "entry ticket" into the class, and will help the teacher plan for and tailor class discussion

    • Live class time will be spent expanding on the material through discussion, peer activities, group projects, or hands-on labs.

  • A typical week will open on Monday morning and close Saturday afternoon.

    • Live classes on Mondays will reinforce the prior week's material.

  • Marine Biology & Oceanography will not be test heavy; rather, emphasis will be placed on discussion (both in class and on discussion boards), projects, and labs.

    • Marcy Swisher's favorite way to assess student knowledge is through group discussion and interaction.

  • Marcy will work to create a safe and welcoming environment for all students.

    • She understands that it can be scary to talk in class, but promises to help guide students and give them the encouragement needed to feel confident.

    • Discussions are rarely about the "right" answer. Often, just contributing a thought is enough to spark a meaningful dialogue. Marcy will assure students that she doesn't always have all "the answers" either and that the key is exploration and inquiry! 

  • This class is meant to introduce students to a seminar framework, where regular class participation is valued over teacher-led lectures, and Marcy will strive to make this an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all. 

A Variety of Core and Supplemental Resources

Students will be using the 2019 McGraw-Hill Marine Science textbook, and the instructor will utilize interactive learning resources and activities that are closely paired with the text.

  • Students will watch and discuss podcasts from an array of sources, including "Speak Up For the Ocean Blue," "Meet the Ocean," and "NOAA Ocean Podcasts."

  • Marcy has invited several experts in the field of marine biology to be guest speakers in her current class, and she plans to do the same in the coming year.

  • Virtual and hands-on labs will be interwoven throughout the year.

  • Students will work within the Google suite to complete and submit most assignments. Each student will create and share a Google folder with the instructor and will collaborate through Google Docs set up for sharing within the class.

Marine Biology & Oceanography will be highly interactive, utilizing online message boards as well as live class time to develop a truly collaborative and enjoyable course. Whether students live on a coast or thousands of miles inland, this class is designed to be a fun way to further develop a love of the ocean. 

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