- Grades 5-6
- Science and Engineering
Ninety-four percent of life on earth is aquatic, yet we have only explored 5 percent of Earth’s oceans. Marine ecologists aim to reduce this knowledge gap while using biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography, and meteorology to study oceans and the hundreds of thousands of known species that live below their surface. In this field science course, we’ll learn the geography of ocean floors, and the physical and chemical properties of ocean water; visit local habitats to collect and test water samples and examine microscopic organisms; and explore how the slightest changes in salinity and temperature can impact entire species. We’ll conduct field observations and dissections in the lab, and observe and analyze plants and animals and the adaptations that allow them to live underwater. Field experiences may include an aquarium trip, visits from marine life experts, or a boat excursion in local waters. The course ends with an analysis of human impact and how to protect marine ecosystems now and in the future.
Typical Class Size: 14-16
- Prove that marine ecosystems involve a synergistic physical system of interrelated phenomena governed by the physical sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, geography, meteorology) by providing evidence, and/or data
- Show the effects of the geography of ocean floors on ocean currents, marine life, and weather patterns
- Analyze environmental data to construct an argument demonstrating that ocean currents are driven by differences in temperature, density and atmospheric circulation that serve to regulate the temperature of the earth
- Test physical and chemical properties of water sources in the local community and report on the results, including background information of the water source, visual representations of the data, suggested future testing, and/or remediation of the water source
- Produce a short, high-impact public service announcement on the fragility of marine ecosystems as it pertains to salinity, temperature, and its impact on entire marine species, highlighting one specific species
- Maintain a laboratory notebook of scientific observations to include field observations with detailed, visual representations of the field location, questions to research about the location, proposed field research to address a question, data collection related to the question, analysis of the data, and other resources to draw conclusions about the questions
Summer Dates & Locations
Testing and Prerequisites
|Required Level||CTY-Level||Not required|
Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.Sign up for Testing Learn More
Cost and Financial Aid
- Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
- Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)
Financial Aid is available
We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.
Please acquire all course materials by the course start date, unless noted as perishable. Items marked as “perishable” should not be acquired until the student needs them in the course. If you have questions about these materials or difficulty locating them, please contact [email protected].
Course Extras (Lab fee info, etc): Lab and field trip fee: $425
About Science and Engineering at CTY
Explore space and our planet
In our Introduction to Astronomy course, we’ll visit a nearby observatory or planetarium, see what the cosmos looks like through various spectra, and immerse ourselves in the science and technology that bring the universe closer to home. In Marine Ecology, we’ll visit local wetlands and tidepools, observe flora and fauna, collect water samples and analyze them for clues about their health and humans’ impact. And in The Global Environment, we will explore the human impact on our environment and generate proposals for addressing climate change.
Bond over chemistry
Our chemistry courses help you see the world differently, starting at the atomic level. The Edible World gives budding chefs and science lovers a glimpse into the chemical reactions that happen when we make food, and the chemical makeup of meals and treats we eat every day. In our Crystals and Polymers course, we’ll synthesize slime, grow rock candy, and isolate strawberry DNA to learn about the molecular structure of naturally occurring gems and human-produced plastics. In Chemistry in Society, we’ll consider how the chemicals in products can both enhance and degrade the world around us; produce biodiesel in a lab to understand alternative fuels; and prepare aspirin to learn about the healing and toxic properties of pharmaceuticals.