With the help of Dieuwertje Kast, Emily Waggoner integrated her experience with gray whales and passion for digital visualizations to design Meet the Grays—a lesson plan that utilizes digital arts in order to spark a passion for marine science in K-5 classrooms. Despite being among the largest mammals on Earth, gray whales are not well understood and, like other marine education topics, unfortunately play a minimal role in elementary school science curricula. The goal of Meet the Grays is to transform these mysterious, 40-ton mammals into individuals with names and personalities for elementary students. Because whales can be difficult to visualize, students learn about the grays through two-dimensional (2D) animations, followed by an interactive activity focusing on gray whale migration through a cardboard model of the West Coast and three-dimensional (3D) printed gray whale characters. Through this lesson, students gain a better understanding of the species and are introduced to digital arts and 3D printing and, more importantly, build a connection to the mammals as individual creatures.
How to Cite:
Waggoner, E., & Kast, D. (2018). Meet the Grays. Current: The Journal of Marine Education, 31(2), 9–12.