All posts by Holly Morin

ISC PD program: Using Cross-Cutting Concepts to Make Sense of Ocean Science Phenomena

The Inner Space Center (ISC) will host another virtual professional development (PD) program for Rhode Island middle and high school teachers on March 15, 2021.  Details and a registration link are below.  Questions?  Please contact Holly Morin (

Date/Time: Monday, March 15, 2021, 9:30 – 11 am ET

Provider: Inner Space Center in partnership with Next Gen Education, LLC

Presenter: Peter McLaren, Executive Director, Next Gen Education LLC

Cost: $25 (check or credit card)

Program description: The Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) identifies three dimensions around which K-12 science education must be built. One of the three dimensions, crosscutting concepts, unify the study of science and engineering. Crosscutting concepts also help students structure their thinking to focus on understanding specific aspects of a phenomenon.

Crosscutting concepts provide a consistent language for educators to communicate with students. This 90-minute professional development (PD) workshop will provide educators with meaningful insights into creating consistent and clear prompts structured around crosscutting concepts that could be used within each phase of an instructional sequence. By structing prompts using the crosscutting concepts, student reasoning can be directed to key aspects of a phenomenon and how/why it occurs. This sets the stage for meaningful formative assessment opportunities.

This PD program, hosted by the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center (ISC), in partnership with Next Gen Education, will provide educators with a framework of ocean science media and educational resources to support crosscutting concept investigations. The expanded program will also involve time for active discussion and idea exchange.

Registration for this PD program is $25 and space will be limited to the first 50 registrants. A waiting list will be maintained for interested individuals. A certificate of participation will be provided to those educators that participate in the live PD event and complete a brief exit survey.

Registration Link:

“Ocean Exploration is Phenomenal”- a free professional development opportunity for RI middle and high school educators

January 25, 2021
10 AM – 11 AM
Virtual professional development program via Zoom 
(connection details to be shared with registered participants)
What are science phenomena? How do you identify and use them within a lesson? Where can you find resources for phenomena?
Credit: NOAA

The ocean is rich with phenomena that are unknown to many.  On January 25, 2021, from 10am-11am, URI’s Inner Space Center (ISC), in partnership with Next Gen Education, will offer a free professional development (PD) session for Rhode Island middle and high school educatorsOcean Exploration is Phenomenal: Using Inner Space Center (ISC) Resources for Phenomena-based Lessons and Units is a PD session designed to provide science educators with opportunities to identify and use ocean science phenomena in their lessons.

In this session participants will experience how phenomena are used as drivers for student engagement within three-dimensional lessons aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Using ISC media and educational resources, learn how to identify phenomena through an ocean science lens, understand best practices for student engagement and explanation of phenomena, and how phenomena drive lessons aligned to the NGSS. Phenomena-based resources will be shared.Registration is required and the program will be limited to the first 50 registrants.

  • To register for this free PD event, please go here
  • The registration deadline is January 20, 2021.

certificate of participation will be provided to those that participate in the live PD event and complete associated activities.

If you have any questions about this professional development program, please contact Holly Morin (

Cancelled: Ocean Exploration: Naval Science and Technology Camp

Unfortunately, given the current COVID-19 situation, the Inner Space Center has canceled all in-person programs for the summer of 2020, including Ocean Exploration: Naval Science and Technology Camp.  Applications are no longer being accepted for this camp; those campers who have already applied have been notified of this change.

The ISC looks forward to welcoming campers back to our facilities in the future.

Please contact Holly Morin ( with any questions.

Application Deadline EXTENDED, Naval Science and Technology Camp

The University of Rhode Island (URI) is closely monitoring developments surrounding the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  At this time, the Inner Space Center (ISC) will move forward with hosting its summer 2020 session of Ocean Exploration: Naval Science and Technology Camp.  This hands-on, day camp, intended for current high school students,  is scheduled for July 20-24, 2020, 9am-3pm daily, at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.

The ISC hopes that all teachers, students, and other impacted RI residents have been able to  transition to online work and other activities as smoothly as possible.  Given this shift to virtual learning, and requirements associated with this adjustment for teachers and students, the ISC is extending the application deadline for Naval Science and Technology Camp. The deadline has been extended to May 1, 2020. Notification of acceptance will be made by May 15, 2020.

To apply for the Summer 2020 session of Ocean Exploration; Naval Science and Technology Camp, please go here.

For more information about the camp, please visit the original announcement post.

Please contact Holly Morin ( with any questions about this camp.

Registration is now open for Summer 2019 ISC Ocean Exploration Camp

Buoyancy investigations via a cardboard box boat regatta. Image credit: ISC.

Registration is now open for the ISC’s Summer 2019 session of Ocean Science Exploration Camp. This year’s camp will take place from July 15-19, 2019, at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in Narragansett, RI, and will focus on physical oceanographyThe global ocean is the key element in Earth’s hydrologic cycle (water cycle) and plays a critical role in moderating the planet’s climate. It is therefore important to understand the ocean’s dynamic properties. Physical oceanographers study the conditions and processes within the ocean, seeking to understand why, where, and how water moves, as well as the relationship between the sea, weather, and climate.

For more details and registration information, please visit the ISC Camps webpage.

World Oceans Day Tri-Ship Connection

Celebrate World Oceans Day and join the Inner Space Center as it connects LIVE with three ocean science and exploration vessels: the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, E/V Nautilus, and RV Falkor.  Tune in through Facebook Live and/or YouTube on June 8, 2018, at 3:00 pm ET, and hear from scientists, engineers, and other crew as they discuss the important (and exciting!) work they are conducting to understand our changing ocean. Be part of the conversation and explore with us!

Registration is now open for Summer 2018 ISC Ocean Exploration Camp

Registration is now open for the ISC’s Summer 2018 session of Ocean Science Exploration Camp. This year’s camp will take place from July 23-27, 2018, at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in Narragansett, RI, and will focus on biological oceanography. Biological oceanography is the study of marine animals, their distribution and abundance, and how they interact with and adapt to the ocean environment.
For more details and registration information, please visit the ISC Camps webpage.

Inner Space Center to broadcast ENDEAVOR LIVE!

Credit: ISC

Students from the University of Rhode Island Honors Program will depart Tuesday, April 3 on a six-day oceanographic research expedition, and you are invited to come along. Learn about their exciting research and directly ask the students and scientists questions during three live broadcasts and one hosted event.

The ISC will broadcast LIVE from URI’s research vessel, the RV Endeavor, to Facebook on April 5, 6 and 7, and during a community event April 6 at URI’s White Hall, 39 Butterfield Road, on the Kingston campus. Dates and details are below, as well as the ISC’s Endeavor Live page.

The research expedition from April 3 through 8 will focus on whale and zooplankton interactions with the environment that occur in the coastal and offshore waters of Rhode Island. The expedition is part of CSI: Oceans, a URI honors class led by Karen Wishner, oceanography professor at GSO, and Christopher Orphanides, chief scientist and a GSO graduate student.

These broadcasts will run about 25 minutes:
Endeavor Live! Facebook Live Events

  • Thursday, April 5 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 7 at 6 p.m.

Be sure to “like” the Inner Space Center Facebook page to follow this expedition and others.

Endeavor Live! Community Event
Thursday, April 5 at 7 p.m.
White Hall Auditorium on the URI campus in Kingston.
This event is open to the public; no registration is required.

Titanic Returns for its 20th Anniversary

In honor of its 20th anniversary, the 1997 film, Titanic, is being brought back to the big screen, for one week only, in select AMC Theatres.

Most of the film is based on real events. In 1985, the eventual founder of URI’s Inner Space Center, Graduate School of Oceanography professor, Dr. Robert Ballard, discovered the wreck in its resting place at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Continue reading Titanic Returns for its 20th Anniversary

Ocean Exploration, “Olympic-Style”

Boundary map for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary- yellow dots outline sanctuary waters. Image credit: NOAA Sanctuaries.

From August 18, 2017, to September 3, 2017, the E/V Nautilus will be exploring the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), located along the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.  The sanctuary encompasses 3,189 square miles (8,260 km2), an area equivalent to the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.  It extends 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) from the shore, including most of the continental shelf, as well as three important submarine canyons: the Nitinat Canyon, the Quinault Canyon and the Juan de Fuca Canyon.  The main objectives of this expedition are to explore and characterize seafloor resources and features associated with these submarine canyons. Quinault and Quileute Canyons have never been explored by remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or autonomous underwater vehicle ( AUV).

Continue reading Ocean Exploration, “Olympic-Style”