The ocean phenomenon

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation.


aurie Brethous, Jean-Claude Dutay, Xavier Perrot, Wiem Fersi, Victor Turpin/ Océanographes

Project manager:
Lucille NEgre


“The Ocean Phenomenon” is an initiative devised for students and scientists to put observation and experimentation tools to use. With a field study that took the students to the Normandy coast, the project involved understanding the mechanisms of an environment in which humankind and nature constantly encounter each other.

A Vast Expanse of Water?
What is the ocean? What do we know about it? The contributor explained how oceanographers work: campaigns to take samples, missions at sea and laboratory work. Through experiments, the classes learned about ocean dynamics and how they are connected to the climate, before studying marine biology.

This second stage was essential, based on a two-day exploratory visit to Cherbourg-Octeville in Normandy.  Firstly, the students collected samples (water, sand, shells, and seaweed) and began to glimpse these elements’ relationships within the complex ecosystem of the coastline.  A session to prepare the visit was held in the classroom.

Ocean Worlds
Back in the classroom, the students analysed the numerous data collected from the site: classifying and identifying the samples enabled them to establish both the nature of this environment (the specific ecosystems linked to the ocean, micro-organisms, etc.) and its structure (coastal bio- and geochemistry, sediment dynamics, etc.). This new stage showed how direct observation can fuel discussion.

In June 2018, showcase installations were set up in the schools. The students’ mission was to illustrate the environment they’d studied, showing its composition and explaining the relationships that characterise it.


- 2-day trip to Cherbourg-Octeville
- Colignon Beach
- Trip to the Cité de la Mer Aquarium

Participating Schools:
- Class 5ème 5, Collège Anatole France, Les Pavillons sous bois
- Class ULIS, Collège Marcel Cachin, Le Blanc Mesnil
- Class 4ème 1 Segpa, Collège Pierre Semard, Drancy
- Class 4ème 1 Segpa, Collège René Descartes, Le Blanc Mesnil
- Class 3ème A, Collège Evariste Galois, Epinay sur Seine
- Class 5ème B Segpa, Collège Roger Martin du Gard, Epinay sur Seine
- Class 4ème 1, Collège Madame de Sévigné, Gagny




The ocean phenomenon
The ocean phenomenon
The ocean phenomenon
The ocean phenomenon
The ocean phenomenon
The ocean phenomenon
The ocean phenomenon