Education

STEM Learning Module

STEM Learning Module:

Ocean Silicate Geology

Using marshmallow modeling tools, in this activity students will model the formation of silicates–the family of minerals that make up more than 90% of the Earth’s crust. Silicates range from mafic to felsic. And since not all silicates are made equal, the composition of each of these minerals varies greatly on the depth within the Earth.

STEM Learning Module:

Introduction to Ocean Exploration - Stations of Learning

Use this lesson to introduce students to how & why we explore the world’s oceans. Dr. Robert Ballard’s TED Talk establishes a connection encouraging all viewers to cultivate a collective desire to explore the ocean and to stress the importance of continued exploration. 

STEM Learning Module:

Hercules Illuminating The Dark

Five activity stations and demonstrations guide students through different examples of light refraction and ask follow-up questions to engage their analysis skills. 

Sunlight rarely travels more than 200 meters (656 feet) deep into the ocean. Vast unexplored regions of the ocean are perpetually dark. Bringing light deep into the ocean introduces challenges, but also the chance to make many discoveries.  Explore the phenomena of colored light, phased absorption of different wavelengths, and other impacts on light underwater with the following five activities.

STEM Learning Module:

Driftin' Away

Oceanographic drifters are essential tools deployed in the open ocean to verify computer model predictions of ocean currents. Students will learn about ground-truthing and compare and contrast data collected through field methods against modeled predictions. Students will apply their new knowledge predicting a drifter’s path using an Eastern Pacific Ocean current simulator, and then ground-truth their track’s accuracy against actual drifter data collected on Nautilus.

STEM Learning Module:

Model Behavior

Learn the function and importance of scientific computer models used to predict complex phenomena. Examining a model for the behavior of oil in the marine environment, students develop a model to test one real-world parameter that would influence the behavior of oil molecules in an ocean. Students will use their proxy models to make connections to and ask questions about current research on hazard mitigation. This module works well as an introduction to the scientific method and precise measurement.

STEM Learning Module:

Get To Know A Drifter

Ocean drifters are a simple, but important oceanographic research tool. Students will work in small groups to research structural and functional components of surface and deep water drifters, compare building materials and associated costs, and complete a design sketch. Students build a model of a drifter using everyday supplies and develop a hypothetical research proposal for how their drifter could contribute to the scientific understanding of the ocean.

STEM Learning Module:

Pressure & Density Stations

Students will learn about two key physical properties of oceans: pressure and density, by rotating through stations. Stations include floating/sinking density challenges, DIY lava lamps, data interpretation, Cartesian divers, and more. After rotations, students work with teammates to summarize their learning and make connections from water properties to ocean exploration and ROV technology.

STEM Learning Module:

Tectonic Plates

Build students' understanding of boundary types and tectonic plate movements through three activities: modeling plate boundaries with graham crackers and frosting, video analysis, and analyzing real-world earthquake data to make predictions.

STEM Learning Module:

Any Fin Is Possible

Students will learn about a variety of fish adaptations for marine and freshwater environments. Students will design a fish using custom printable body plan variations and justify the adaptation choices given to the species with information about how that fish has evolved to be successful for its environment.

STEM Learning Module:

Save Yourself - Sacrificial Anodes

Students will investigate how rates of chemical reaction rates - galvanic corrosion - vary among different metal types with and without the addition of sacrificial metal. This is a redox reaction example suited well for upper-level students. Students will learn how anodes protect E/V Nautilus and the ROVs Hercules and Argus from corrosion.