Week 1: Free!
Enjoy a teaser for the first week, all about sharks!
For full access to activity sheets, curated content, discussion boards and the ability to participate in live sessions for each of the weeks, please purchase a membership!
MONDAY: An Introduction
Meet your lead instructor for the week and learn about what to expect each day.
Sharks! Background Information
Sharks are fish, but unlike bony fish, sharks have a skeleton made of cartilage. Cartilage is less dense than bone, which allows sharks to use less energy while swimming. There are over 500 species of sharks and they can be found in every ocean in the world. Although they share similar characteristics, sharks are diverse in their shape, size, color and their adaptations to live in different habitats. These majestic top predators maintain the number of species below them in the food web and also serve as an indicator species, meaning that they are used to determine if the ecosystem and oceans are healthy.
TUESDAY: Anatomy & Behavior
Learn about a shark’s anatomy, behaviors and adaptations with our Public Programs Intern, Hailey! Follow along at home and make your own toilet paper roll shark.
Toilet Paper Roll Shark Craft
- 1 Cardboard Toilet Paper Roll (1 per participant)
- Gray Craft Paint (Mixing white and black works well)
- Paintbrush (one large, one small) or paint sponge
- Liquid Glue (Hot glue gun works best)
- White Paper (computer/construction)
- Black Marker
- Googly Eyes (Optional)
WEDNESDAY: Deeper Dive!
Learn how sharks are represented in cultures all around the world and how our perceptions can affect shark conservation.
Sharks in Culture:
Sharks are often villainized as “monsters” and “man-eating”. Many forms of media including TV and movies only show large sharks with mouths full of teeth wide open or biting into their prey. According to popular media there are only 3-4 species of sharks, when in reality there are over 500, most of which rarely come in contact with humans. Jaws (book 1974 and movie 1975) had a massive impact on the way people viewed sharks, especially white sharks. This was a horror movie that had a shark hunting and eating people off of a fictitious island off the East coast of the U.S. Sharks got a bad reputation from Jaws and many were killed, just for being a shark.
Good news! Public opinion of sharks has become more positive in the last couple of decades due to better media representation, more science made available to the public, and learning more about the mysterious lives of sharks!
There are many shark-gods; Kamohoali’I: King of the shark-gods and guardian of the Hawaiian Islands and would rescue people in the sea; Ka’ahupahau and Kahi’uka were sibling shark-gods that protected people from dangerous sharks.
Haida of British Columbia had a legend of Dogfish Woman, a woman who could transform herself into a dogfish
Greek mythology has the legend of Akheilos, a son of Zeus who was turned into a shark as a punishment because he was boasting to be more attractive than Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty.
Sharks in the Media:
How do you know when you’re reading something about sharks that is accurate?
Article 1: Biased Example
Article 2: Unbiased Example
Recommended Books & Movies:
- Sharkwater (Documentary for ages 13+)
- Sharwater 2 (Documentary – available for free on Amazon Prime)
- Sharks by Kate Riggs (K-2 graders)
- If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Willaism (K-2 graders)
- All About Sharks by Jim Arnosky (3-5 graders)
- Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating (3-5 graders)
- National Geographic Kids: Everything Sharks by Ruth A. Musgrave (6-8 graders)
- Science Comics: Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter by Joe Flood (6-8 graders)
- Emperors of the Deep by William McKeever (9-12 graders)
- Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo (for 9-12 graders)
To get more curated content and learn more, purchase a membership!
THURSDAY: Careers Related to Sharks!
Learn about some related careers, internships and projects related to sharks!
How Do Sharks ‘Mako’ You Feel Survey
Complete the Citizen Science survey below!
Did you Know? The shortfin mako is the fastest shark in the ocean, with top speeds of 45 mph!
If you are passionate about the ocean, specifically sharks, a career in this field may be right for you! Please explore some of the options below with an example of each to look into.
Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist : A scientist that studies animals in their natural habitat
- Association of Zoos & Aquariums Jobs
Museum Curator or Collections Manager : A researcher that works with a museum’s collection
- Living Sharks Museum Florida Museum
- Marine Biodiversity Center
Science Illustrator : An artist that draws or paints animals or plants for scientific use
- Aaron John Gregory’s Portfolio
- Dmitry Bogdanov’s Portfolio
- Jessica Kendall-Bar’s Portfolio
Photographer: An artist that uses a camera to capture wildlife in their natural habitat
- Shawn Heinrichs’ Portfolio
- Brian Skerry’s Shark Portfolio
Conservationist :A person that works toward the protection of a species through politics, education, or research
- The Nature Conservancy
- Ocean Conservancy
- World Wildlife Fund
To learn more and get a full curated list of careers, internships, projects, social media accounts to follow and recommended courses, please purchase a membership!
FRIDAY: Interview With An Expert
MEET EMILY SPURGEON
Emily is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at California State University, Long Beach, under the advisement of Dr. Chris Lowe. Her thesis explores the factors underpinning aggregation formation of juvenile white sharks in their nursery habitat, in the Southern California Bight. She hopes to keep unraveling the mysteries of these large, charismatic species at this vulnerable, and important life stage. To go on; Emily has spent over seven years working in the research field, from assisting with both shark and ray studies to using specialist scientific diving skills to collect data from hundreds of dive sites. Emily is hardworking, knowledgeable, and incredibly passionate about all life above and below the waves.
Wrap Up for the Week
Meet Your Instructors
End of the Week Survey
We would love to know what you learned. Please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey below:
Thank you for checking out our week 1 teaser, all about sharks! We hope you are enjoying your virtual experience. Please consider a Sea Star or Virtual Membership to continue learning with us!