Outreach and Education

Home >Outreach and Education > Suitcase Science Kits
Measuring whole fishes

NOAA Fisheries Suitcase Science Kits


NOAA Fisheries is excited to debut 7 low/no tech portable kits created to teach students (grades 6-8) about marine life in an interactive way. Each kit is free to borrow and includes:

  • lesson plans aligned to both the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III and the national Ocean Literacy Principles
  • background information that outlines science concepts, and student worksheets
  • materials to present the lesson to a class of ∽30 students.

We value your feedback! Make sure to let us know what you thought after using the kits. We are always striving to improve our education and outreach products.

Our new Suitcase Science Kits are an extension of our popular annual NOAA Fisheries Science Camp held on Ford Island during the summer for incoming 8th graders. Encourage your 7th grade students to apply in spring 2017. See the camp web page for more details.

Request a Kit

Kit Descriptions

  • Outside with marine debrisMarine Debris Project

    Students will be able to identify marine debris (specifically derelict fishing gear) and its impact on the coral reef ecosystem in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Students will participate in a simulation of collecting spatial data in the field, systematically walking a 5 x 5 meter plot and marking, on a grid, where debris is collected.

  • Analyzing fish video data Fish Population Estimation

    Students will be able to experience how scientists count fish populations on the reef through stationary point and towed diver simulations. Students will analyze why it is important to manage the population of fish stocks.

  • Measuring whole fishesFish Life History

    Students will be able to develop a basic understanding of the external and internal anatomy of bony fishes, the use of otoliths in fisheries science, and the importance of accurately providing and recording biological data.

  • Making food webs on tablesMarine Food Webs

    Students will be introduced to marine food webs and basic ecological concepts that structure energy flow and animal interactions. Additionally, the lesson will acquaint students with ecological modeling and model limitations.

  • Using microscopes to look at planktonsMarine Plankton

    Students will be able to recognize marine plankton. Students will observe samples of marine plankton and discover what may happen to plankton through ocean acidification.

  • Watching a monk seal video with a crittercamHawaiian Monk Seal Crittercam

    Students will be able to discuss different techniques and technologies that are used to understand the diet and feeding behavior of endangered monk seals. Students will collect data from swimming seals to make a logical, evidence driven argument that seals do not interfere with the fishing industry.

  • Learning to cast a rod and reel outsideSustainable Recreational Fishing

    Students will learn and practice casting a rod and reel; go "fishing;" log catch data; and learn about the importance of fishing and fisheries dependent data.

Suitcase Science Kits

  • Lesson plan pdfs available upon request.

NOAA Fisheries outreach and education informational table

For more information:

NOAA Fisheries
1845 Wasp Boulevard, Building 176
Honolulu, HI 96818
Phone: 808-725-5000