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 teacher resources, links to archived data and videos.





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.

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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.





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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.




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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.





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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.





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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.






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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.





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North Carolina’s Changing Shorelines – Coastal Processes

This lesson plan utilizes free mapping software to allow students to investigate shoreline change in North Carolina.

For a powerpoint presentation to supplement this lesson click HERE.




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.

Coastal Processes

Estuarine Ecology and Human Health

Maritime Heritage

Coastal Engineering