Teacher Resources

CSI is dedicated to providing resources and activities to aid teachers of K–12 classes in fulfilling curriculum requirements and making learning fun.

It is our goal to provide activities and curriculum that are relevant to northeastern North Carolina while meeting current NC Science Standards and Learning Objectives.  These activities will be posted as they become available.

Below is a series of activities for students, lesson plans, links to archived data and videos.

Student Activities

These activities are meant to be stand alone activities for students that relate to the research done at CSI.  The activities stimulate thinking on topics covered in CSI’s on-site programs and can be used before or after a program.  Click on the photo for a PDF document of the activities.

Coastal Communities

This Program asks students to read a short newspaper article and answer questions considering the future resiliency of the Outer Banks coastal community.




Energy Audit

This activity asks students to record the amount of energy they use in different aspects of their lives.  The goal is to find ways to reduce energy needs.  This program also works well as an activity for students before visiting CSI for an alternative energy program.





Marine Technology

In this activity students will learn some of the ways technology is used in coastal research, and there is a link to virtually drive a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).  Students can  pilot the underwater robot on different scientific missions.






Lesson Plans

Educators at the Coastal Studies Institute provide lesson plans and teacher resources showcasing ongoing research at the Institute and were designed according to North Carolina education standards.

CLICK PHOTO for Teacher Resource

Beach Nourishment – Rodanthe Emergency Channel Project – Coastal Processes

This activity provides students an opportunity to duplicate the methods scientists use when studying sediment samples, while also using their findings to make informed decisions facing coastal communities.





CLICK PHOTO for Teacher Resource

Subaquatic Vegetation as Habitat – Rodanthe Emergency Channel Project – Estuarine Ecology and Human Health

SAV is important in maintaining the health, productivity and maintenance of our estuaries by offering a sanctuary to various species of fish, turtles and invertebrates.  This programming offers students a hands-on activity that is both engaging and instructive in understanding of the ecosystem services that SAV provides in North Carolina’s estuaries.




CLICK PHOTO for Teacher Resource

Using Sound for Scientific Discovery – Rodanthe Emergency Channel Project – Maritime Heritage

Ocean scientists, like geologists and maritime archaeologists, use sound waves to detect underwater features through the use of sonar.  This experiment demonstrates how determining the velocity of sound in certain mediums can aid us in scientific discovery.





CLICK PHOTO for Teacher Resources

Exploring Estuarine Erosion Processes – Rodanthe Emergency Channel Project – Coastal Processes

This program provides students the chance to investigate the role vegetation plays in mitigating the effects of storm and surge and wave action. CLICK HERE for accompanying PowerPoint Presentation.





CLICK PHOTO for Teacher Resource

Stormwater Effects – Rodanthe Emergency Channel Project – Estuarine Ecology and Human Health

This experiment offers an observable reaction to an increase of nutrients and provides an opportunity for discussion about the nitrogen cycle, food webs and human effects on the environment.






CLICK PHOTO for Teacher Resource

Ocean Energy and Education – Renewable Ocean Energy Project Coastal Engineering

This lesson plan encourages students to think about the energy challenges we as inhabitants of this planet face, and the role alternative energies could play in future power production.






Data Sources

CSI researchers and collaborative agencies collect scientific data on a variety of subjects that is available for public use.  Please see links below to real-time data sources in North Carolina that can be used in the classroom.

Water Quality

Ocean Observing

  • CSI wave-rider buoy – Located 9 miles off of Oregon Inlet, the wave-rider buoy records wave height, period, direction and surface water temperature.
  • Surface Currents – The Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association provides high-resolution animations of surface current measurements.
  • Surface Currents International – The Coastal Observing Research and Development Center provides HFRADAR derived surface currents in a number of formats.

BOB Network

  • Basic Observation Buoy Data Portal – The Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) program partners the Coastal Studies Institute with area youth scientists to collect water quality and atmospheric data using a basic buoy designed by students at participating schools.


The Coastal Studies Institute provides educational videos communicating the research carried out at the Institute.  For a full list of nearly 100 videos and to subscribe to our YouTube page click HERE.

Kitchen Science

Coastal Processes

Estuarine Ecology and Human Health

Maritime Heritage

Coastal Engineering