May 6, 2022


Starting a marine science or STEM unit?

Looking for a STEM theme for the beginning of summer?

A STEM and Sea unit provides all that you need to capture the attention of your students!


STEM and Sea provides a perfect learning unit at any time of year. Whether spring, summer fall or winter; whether a bay, a sound, or the ocean; adults and children alike are awed by the majesty and mystery of the sea.

Marine science covers a large spectrum of topics from how waves are formed, to what causes the ebb and flow of the tides to the vast array of plants and animals that inhabit the water. The ocean theme provides wonderful opportunities for STEM exploration with science investigations, hands-on activities, career research and maker space centers.

Get Caught Engineering® has hands-on STEM lessons that not only support your student’s exploration into the various marine concepts but will also nurture their commitment to solving some of the problems threatening our oceans.



Dive Into STEM Marine Centers

Dive into STEM

Our Dive into STEM activity bundle is chock full of fun, engaging activities for your students to explore the oceans. These lessons were developed for the Discovery Lab at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Your students will:

  • Make “flinker” submersibles that will neither float nor sink

  • Experience the significance of shore erosion

  • Create their own underwater scene with paper engineering

  • Learn how helpful blubber is to arctic animals

  • Investigate how some whales eat by inventing a baleen to scoop up parsley

  • Compare the effect of salted and plain water on eggs

  • Match marine life with inventions

  • View the energy produced by waves

Engineering an Oil Spill Clean Up 

A favorite activity of our students is inventing a tool to solve a pollution problem on a body of water. They are challenged to create an instrument that will clean up such water debris as vegetable oil, oregano, string, tissue paper and lint mimicking the types of pollution found in our waters today.

The engineering design process is used as they modify and adapt their tools to improve their success rate of removing the pollution. In addition to working to clean up the water, their discussions inevitably turn to the prevention of these pollutants in our waterways. The realization that one can not completely remove pollutants and their impact is a profound lesson for students to process.

STEM the Spill

More ready-to-go marine themed lessons that support STEM and Sea include:

 STEM Trickle Down Effect – Building a Water Filter with Systems Engineering

Sailing with STEM- Engineering Rain Gutter Sailboat Races

As we developed marine lessons for our STEM classes and workshops,

we found several helpful websites and books to use. 

The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal

Ocean Education | National Geographic Society

Just for Kids (

10+ Ocean Science Educational Resources to Check Out at Home | NOAA Fisheries

Have you considered integrating your lessons with real scientists? We have information for participating in real marine science with oceanographers in our blog about Citizen Science.

And these three books are terrific to add to your collection. Ocean facts, a biography of a famous woman oceanographer, and a true and delightful story about an adventurous octopus will hold your students interest during read-aloud time.

     The Ocean Book for Kids

Shark Lady


The ocean theme is great for the classroom, maker spaces, camps, after school programs and Family Stem Night. We hope you Get Caught Engineering® as you "Seas the STEM" in your classroom.

Wendy and Cheryl

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What They Say


Wendy came to Bellevue Arts Museum to co-lead our Full STEAM Ahead! Summer Camp in August 2014. This camp was a huge success thanks to her expertise, experience, and warmth working with the campers throughout the week…

Educational Outreach Director, The Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, Washington