Course title

Marine Science


Recommended prerequisite: Completion of Biology 1-2 and Integrated Math 1.

Course description

MARINE SCIENCE 1-2 001256; 001257 Grades 10-12

Recommended prerequisite: Completion of Biology 1-2 and Integrated Math 1.

Marine Science 1-2 will give students a strong background in the ocean sciences. The course includes challenging problem-solving activities; laboratory exercises; field experiences; and class projects. The course will focus on marine geology; marine chemistry; marine physics and marine biology. This course meets the UC/CSU “d” Laboratory Science requirement.

Time Spent on Labs: This class requires a significant amount of lab work. Approximately 2-3 days per a week will be spent doing labs. Approximately 3-4 hours per week.

Listed below are some of the labs done in class:


Nature of Science/Intro

Scientific Method: Squid Exploration-  Perform a scientific exploration using the scientific method to directly answer a question about the squid. 

Experimental Design- Use tooth of Great White Shark to graph size of shark.

Applying the Scientific Method: Shrinking Potatoes- Using the scientific method to analyze how different salt water concentrations effect cellular osmosis.

Origins of the Universe labs:

Star Life Cycle Lab – create your own start with a life cycle.

Red Shift Lab: Fingerprints of the Elements Lab – analyzing the Big Band Theory through the Red Shift. Using spectroscopes  and the scientific method to analyze how specific elements behave when excited; what the lines of the spectra represent and answer how this explains orbitals; energy quant; and elemental configuration.

Blowing Up Your Universe Lab – exploring the universe using an experiment where balloons are blown up; marked with dots; and exploded. The distance between markings once exploded is measured. Different balloons have different levels of inflation. Is this a good model for the universe?  How is it not a good model? How does lab relate to how scientists determine age of universe.

Earth’s Structure and Plate Tectonics

Walk Around Lab Stations-Study Polar Reversals; Sketching Major Lithospheric Plates; Study World Topography Map; Using maps to plot earthquakes

Convection Currents - density and convection lab- Lab analyzing what happens to the density of substances relative to temperature. 

Rocks and Sediments; Age and Distribution

Starburst Candy Rock Cycle lab – to understand the process rocks undergo to transform from one rock to another type.

Rock Story Lan CER  - analyzing rock color; texture/mineral size; reactions with HCl; identifiy name and type.

Continental Margins and Ocean Basins 

Ocean Floor; La Jolla to San Clemente Island – plot ocean depth between Scripps Pier and San Clemente Island

Mapping and labeling of physiography of the ocean floor

Sea Water Chemistry

Water Properties Lab – examining the properties of water droplets on various surfaces.

Specific Heat and the Ocean Lab– observe the effects of heat on temperature of water; sand; and air; and how will the substances relate to one another.

Salinity Lab – exploring the salinity; to measure and calculate the most accurate method of determining salinity

PH; CO2 and the Fate of Shelled Orgamisms lab – examining the effect of how varies pH solvents affect the mass of a shell

Ocean Water Quality Lab – testing for various compounds found in ocean; Determine what is present and at what levels.

Ocean Physics

What Floats Your Boat? Lab – creating clay boat model to examine the principle of buoyancy.

Buoyancy Bulls Eye Lab – using materials to make items neutrally buoyant.

Oceans Physics Stations Lab: 

1)     examining angle of incidence and angle of refraction with laser pointer; 2) refraction: penny lab 3) pencil in the water 4) Color in water to examine light absorption 5) sound through mediums 6) build boat to examine volume 7) buoyancy – positive; negative; neutral buoyancy of ballons 8) Cartesian Diver 9) the vaccum 10) speed of sound in water

Atmosphere and Weather

The Flask Task Lab- to model the earths greenhouse effect by using our own breath to simulate the earth’s atmosphere

Differential Heating Lab- investigate the different heating effects of sunlight; analyze how the angle affects the temperature

Ocean Circulation

Surface Currents Lab- simulate the effects of wind and land masses on the movement of water.

Salinity Currents Lab – using salt water and freshwater in bottles to examine density of the currents.

Temperature Currents Lab – using warm water and cool water to examine the density

Thermoclines and Thermohaline Circulation Lab – to investigate how water responds to changes in temperature and to study how temperature can generate currents.


Wave Geometry Activity – using a long rope students will create waves on the ground then calculate wavelength; wave height; velocity and frequency.

Shallow Water Wave Lab – use aquarium and create waves to determine the speed of shallow-water wave as a function of depth.

Ripple Tank Lab – use a wave tank to examine the properties of reflection; refraction; and diffraction.

Waves and Beaches – Build your own wave tank and discover how different waves break as they approach the shore.


Tide Activity: 1) Bucket of water 2) Swing your partner 3) Let it fly

Moon Phases and Tides Models

Trip to the Tidepools





School country

United States

School state


School city

San Diego

High school

Rancho Bernardo High School

School / district Address

13010 Paseo Lucido

School zip code


Requested competency code

Lab Science

Date submitted



Approved competency code

  • LADV
  • Advanced science
  • LINT
  • Integrated science

Approved date

Online / Virtual