How I Use It
This app is a great way to introduce young students to the concept of healthy habitats. Used whole group, and supported by a discussion relying on other instructional material, this app is largely engaging, if not a bit repetitive. Think of it as a fun way to hook students on a marine or environmental science unit, but not much more.
Overall, I am pleased that National Geographic and the National Science Foundation produced a free, quality app for young children to address the issue of ocean pollution. Used whole group, this app can be a terrific springboard for a sometimes difficult topic. The simplistic way pollution is addressed in this app would not be adequate for older children (e.g. oil spills are not erased as if by magic), but seem very appropriate for a pre-K and K introduction. However, without an adult contributing to the experience, I imagine Marine Missions would offer limited learning and not hold students attention for very long. The creature creator is a nice, if unnecessary, touch and the controls on the mini-games are clunky at best.