K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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How is coastal sand formed into barrier islands?
In Small sand volume barrier islands: Environmental processes and development risks, page 2
Coastal sand is organized into barrier islands when three conditions are met: There is a supply of sand sufficient to form islands; sea level is rising; and there are winds and waves with sufficient energy to move the sand around....
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Diagram of hurricane formation
Diagram of hurricane formation
Diagram of hurricane formation showing movement of warm, humid air and cold, unstable air between the upper and lower atmosphere.
Format: image/photograph
North Carolina Coastal Federation
Visit the North Carolina Coastal Federation and learn about the projects that the NCCF is doing toward restoration of coastal areas in North Carolina.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Carolina Ocean Studies
A visit to the beautiful barrier islands and ocean reefs of North Carolina will help students understand the importance of our coastal environment and the habitat of the creatures that live there.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Sea Grant North Carolina
With a variety of research and outreach programs, this organization provides several educational opportunities for marine science educators including workshops, marine science and environmental education curriculum development, research opportunities and grants, and field trips.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Evidence of rising sea level: Coastal erosion and plant community changes
A Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” that examines the causes and effects of changes in sea level, both short-term (as a result of storms) and long-term (as a result of climate change).
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Ocean education and marine environmental education programs providing "hands-on, feet-wet, high-tech" experiences for K-12 students.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Hurricanes on sandy shorelines: Lessons for development
A Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” that examines the sand sharing system of sedimentary coastlines and the impact of hurricanes on those coastlines and on human development.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Changes in sea level, great and small
In Evidence of rising sea level: Coastal erosion and plant community changes, page 1
The level of the sea is always changing. These changes may be small and short-lived, as when water rushes up the beach after waves break, but others are large and long-lived — as has been the case with the post-glacial rise of the present era. Small-scale...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Small sand volume barrier islands: Environmental processes and development risks
This Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” explores the nature and structure of barrier islands with small sand volume, on which built structures are highly susceptible to damage from hurricanes.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
How do hurricanes form?
In Hurricanes on sandy shorelines: Lessons for development, page 2
Hurricanes begin when areas of low atmospheric pressure move off Africa and into the Atlantic, where they grow and intensify in the moisture-laden air above the warm tropical ocean. Air moves toward these atmospheric lows from all directions and curves to...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
The Science House
Through school demonstration programs, student science camps, teacher workshops and innovative laboratory training, and support projects, the NCSU Science House partners with K-12 teachers to emphasize the use of hands-on learning activities in mathematics and science.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Recent North Carolina
Primary sources and readings explore recent North Carolina (1975–present). Topics include politics, the economy, the environment, natural disasters, and increasing diversity.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Discovery Place
Discovery Place offers hands-on activities in all areas of science for students from preschool through grade eight and professional development opportunities for educators.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences
Resources for learning about natural North Carolina including animals, snakes, insects and ecosystems.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Coastal erosion and the ban on hard structures
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.3
North Carolina’s sandy coast is one of the state’s greatest tourist attractions, and also one of its frequent sources of controversy. The 301 miles of coastline in the east have been the site of an ongoing struggle between stable structures created by humans and the dynamic forces of nature, between property rights and thousands of years of geology. A 1985 rule designed to preserve the beaches in their natural state enjoys the support of coastal scientists but threatens the investments of home-owners and developers.
Format: article
By Emily Jack.

Resources on the web

Why is oceanography important?
In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about some of the important discoveries that oceanographers have made and some areas that they are investigating. (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Science)
Provided by: National Geographic
Illustrated information about fisheries, weather, waves, icebergs, currents, coral reefs, and other oceanography topics with real time data and interactive quizzes. Includes a variety of tools for teachers and an online textbook for high school students. (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: Texas A&M University
Oceanographic specialties
In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about the five primary subdisciplines of oceanography and think of questions that each type of oceanographer might ask when conducting research in his or her field. (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
Provided by: National Geographic
NEFSC Historical Page
Contains answers to frequently asked questions about fish and oceanography including fish images and artwork. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: Northeast Fisheries Science Center