Gulf of Maine Research Institute

How can students’ natural interest in the marine environment be developed into a deep, continuous and lifelong passion for stewardship of the Gulf of Maine watershed?

This is the challenge XhibitNet and the educators at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) took on, designing and developing a $2.2 million networked learning facility with a personalized, database-driven web content interaction system at GMRI’s marine research lab in Portland, Maine.


The experience

  • 5th and 6th graders participate in a two-hour field trip to conduct their own in-depth, simulated marine research investigations, experiments and virtual commercial fishing expeditions with a realistic economic simulation.
  • Teams work on 12 networked, high-definition interactive computer stations saving personal artifacts via digital video dissecting microscopes, video report cameras and underwater schooling tank cameras, and then present their findings in summary “peer review” sessions.
  • All digital artifacts are saved to personal science notebook websites where the students can annotate, update and export their data to create extended research reports integrated with other class projects and materials.