AMP-IT-UP 7th Grade Deep Sea Ecosystems Challenge


Module Summary: AMP-IT-UP - Under the Sea

Students engage as scientists to analyze images of corals to evaluate the health of deep-sea ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The module helps students define and quantify data as well as differentiate between temporal and spatial data.  It covers some basic concepts of ecosystems, abiotic and biotic factor, and benthic environments. An article on this module was featured in the July/August 2021 edition of Science Scope and can be viewed here.

For Teachers:

Annotated Teacher Edition - The teacher edition of the Under the Sea Challenge curriculum that has been annotated with notes and tips for teachers.
Prep Guide - Instructions on how to implement the module. Includes information about the standards that the module addresses and how to incorporate the 5E learning model.
Materials List - List of all materials that are needed for the module. List includes the cost and vendors of the materials.

For Students:

Student Edition - The module curriculum booklet for students.
Student Pages Packet - The worksheets that students will need to complete the module.
Coral Images - Images of coral reef.
Impacted Healthy Coral Images - Images of impacted healthy coral reef.


  1. Video - Explosion of Deep-Water Horizon Oil Rig - Archived video showing the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  2. Video - ECOGIG Deep Sea Life: Corals, Fishes, Invertebrates - A video showing how the ECOGIG team explores the deep sea ecosystem.
  3. Video - ECOGIG in 60 Seconds - A video showing how the ECOGIG team is assessing conditions of coral four years after the Deepwater Horizon Spill
  4. Video - ECO ROVs in STEM ED - A video showing how Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are being used to investigate the coral community.
  5. Video - Diversity of Deepwater Corals - A video explaining the characteristics of a healthy coral environment.
  6. Video - Remembering Deepwater Horizon - A video about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also called Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which was the largest marine oil spill in history, caused by an April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
  7. Video - Deepwater Horizon: The Science Behind NOAA's Unprecedented Response - A video showing how NOAA went about the massive task of assessing the damage to the entire northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

Complete Set of Module Files:

Download a complete package of the module here


Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated To Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP)
is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Award Number: 1238089)