Education - Youth Education
A Sampling of Resources for Teachers and Students

Curriculum and Resources

Plastic Pollution and You
NYSG's "Plastic Pollution and You" is a 126-page, 15-lesson curriculum focused on a man-made threat to the quality of New York’s marine and freshwater aquatic ecosystems.

NYSG's "Enviro-Time Storytime Recommended Reading Lists" include over 40 books that will connect young people in the Great Lakes, and beyond, to their local communities and ecosystems in new and unique ways.

Freedom Seekers
This free curriculum, a Great Lakes Sea Grant effort, acknowledges the enslaved Africans who had to rely on environmental science principles in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Lake Sturgeon
Intermediate Curriculum is among a handful of deliverables generated from this NYSG project, which supports lake sturgeon recovery efforts in New York. Sea Grant has led outreach and education programs to inspire appreciation for this prehistoric freshwater fish and state Threatened Species.

Covering Climate in the Classroom
Understanding the relationship between weather and climate are important first steps to understanding larger-scale global climate change. NYSG worked with partners from Cornell University and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Program on this series of teaching curricula designed to help middle school students understand climate and weather basics and explore climate change-related issues close to home in the Hudson River Valley. The teaching curricula fit into Learning Standards for New York State, Next Generation Learning Standards and the Common Core.

IFISHNY Lesson Plans
Here, you will find links to several lessons intended for formal (in class) or informal (out of class) classroom settings. The lessons on this site are intended for grades 3-12. Lessons and activities include a lesson plan, background information, accompanying handouts, and supplemental activities that can be used for assessment. All lessons are aligned with the New York State Common Core Standards. 

Other Educational Resources

NYSG's Green Tips for Coastal Living (click here)
Spread the word and educate your family, friends, and neighbors about ways they can help protect the waters of New York, from the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound to Lakes Ontario and Erie and all points in between.

Exploring the Estuary! A Teacher’s guide to the New York New Jersey Harbor Estuary Region (click here)
First produced in 2003, this updated guide highlights regional education organizations providing K-12 estuary-related field trips, lesson plans and classroom activities. The directory aims to introduce educators to the dynamic network of organizations and resources available to help students learn about the harbor.

Color Your Catch (pdf)
Kids learn about some Long Island fish species - including bluefish, summer flounder and striped bass - while they color away and draw lines to their favorite catch.

Posters: Ecosystem and Habitat

  • Brown Tide in Long Island Bays: An Ecosystem View (pdf

  • Great Lakes ecosystem (click here)

  • Lobster Life Cycle & Habitat (pdf)

  • Long Island Bays (click here)

Education Resources in the Great Lakes

New York Sea Grant uses hand-on workshops and a “teach the teacher” approach to extend science-based learning through teachers to students throughout New York’s Great Lakes region. Topics include critical environmental issues such as water quality and invasive species. NYSG Great Lakes partners with the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes, the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Sea Grant College Program, University at Buffalo, Buffalo Museum of Science and others to make programs possible.

Great Lakes Sea Grant Education Materials for Loan
New York Sea Grant education staff members have been involved in the development of curriculum materials.  As a means of sharing these materials with interested educators, a loan system has been created.  The following materials can be borrowed at no charge from the NYSG office at the University at Buffalo.  Materials can be picked up by local educators, or the materials can be mailed to your school.  For more information, or to arrange the loan of materials, please contact:

A Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lakes Region
Sea Grant programs in New York, Michigan, Illinois-Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin partnered to create training curricula materials centered around the AIS-HACCP concept.

This field guide to fish invaders of the Great Lakes region includes full-color illustrations for 38 invasive and common look-a-like native fishes.

The purpose of this guide is to assist private and public fisheries personnel in identifying and reporting potentially invasive fish species that pose threats to the recreational, environmental and economic value of the Great Lakes region. The guide is also designed to accompany AIS-HACCP training workshops, curriculum, video and other program materials.

For more, click here or request copies through New York Sea Grant at 631-632-6905.

Greatest of the Great Lakes - A Medley of Model Lessons
The Centers for Ocean Sciences Educational Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes has developed a collection of 41 innovative classroom activities to provide teachers and students (grades 4-10) with insights into the uniqueness of the Great Lakes and their influence on aquatic life and human populations.  COSEE GL believes that as students engage in these interactive and thought-provoking activities, they will gain an understanding of Great Lakes science, issues, and potential solutions. Activities in the CD have been aligned to NY State Standards.

These lessons can be accessed through the Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange program website | Click here.

ESCAPE Curriculum Compendium
Exotic Species Compendium of Activities to Protect the Ecosystem (ESCAPE) is a collection of activities developed from the Exotic Species Day Camp Project for Educators. This package includes 36 user-friendly sets of lessons that incorporate experiments, art, music and games.  Activity-based lessons are cross curricular, appealing to a range of learning styles.  New York Sea Grant was involved in the development of the ESCAPE Compendium along with Sea Grant partners in Illinois-Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.  New York teachers contributed activities to the Compendium.

ESCAPE Concepts & Subject Areas:

  • Environment and Ecology
  • Science and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Reading,
  • Writing and Language Arts

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