Activity or Mini-Lesson:

At-Home Nautilus Activity Book

Dive into math activities, mazes, coloring pages, writing prompts, and buildable-models to learn about the seafloor and tools of ocean exploration.

Paperback, 32 pages.

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Ocean Exploration Course for Middle School

This guide shares the sequence of suggested activities, lessons & learning modules for a 9 week-long Ocean Exploration class (quarter-long elective), designed for middle school students. It can easily be adapted for an after-school club, a summer program, or a segment of a middle school science course. Lessons can be completed as outlined below, but can also be broken up to accommodate class schedules. The activities are designed for hands-on learning and to facilitate a greater understanding of the need for continued ocean exploration.

Data-Driven Activity:

Investigating Ocean Volume

Students will explore volume across the Earth’s ocean basins through observation of maps and hands-on learning. Students will reflect on the influences of depth and surface area in volumetric equations.

Data-Driven Activity:

Graphing Ocean Motion

Our mission to explore the ocean sends the ship and team into the open ocean to work in various sea conditions and wave heights. E/V Nautilus rocks and rolls out on the ocean’s waves. Explore this real data set from the ship’s sensors to plot the motion of pitch, roll, and heave.

STEM Learning Module:

Exploration Expenses

Work in groups to take on the role of expedition planners for an E/V Nautilus expedition. Each student or team will choose one expedition card with a map and pertinent expedition budget factors. Use provided information to plan an efficient route and calculate expenses (multiplication, rates) according to their staffing and mission planning decisions.

STEM Learning Module:

Deep Sea Debris

Using observations from ROV Hercules dives, introduce students to marine pollution and degradation rates of various materials in seawater. Students will categorize trash types and calculate percentages found on the seafloor and summarize how this data relates to marine pollution trends worldwide. Students will describe local actions they can take within their school/ community to reduce pollution’s impact on the oceans.

STEM Learning Module:

Seafloor Mapping Simulation

Introduce students to multibeam sonar mapping using simulated sonar beams (wooden dowels) and “mystery seafloor” boxes with perforated lids and hidden landscapes. Students will use the dowel to measure returns then calculate the depth of their sonar soundings based on the speed of sound through water (basic conversions and algebraic equations). Students will infer the seafloor features based on the depth profiles created, and compare and analyze the differences between low and high-resolution sounding maps before revealing the true hidden landscape.

STEM Learning Module:

Tether Trigonometry

Gain a practical application for right triangle trigonometry (Pythagorean theorem) by solving for vertical and linear distance relationships between remotely operated vehicles Hercules and Argus during dive operations. Building on these skills, students can calculate the operational area (area of a circle) based on different vehicle configurations. Worksheet problems challenge students to use multiple equation strategies to solve these underwater problems.

STEM Learning Module:

CTD Analysis

A CTD sensor measures the Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth of the water surrounding ROV Hercules while exploring across the seafloor and through the water column. This module introduces students to graphing using real CTD data collected from E/V Nautilus. Students will plot temperature, salinity, and water pressure measurements from different depths and then build analysis skills observing and identifying patterns in the variables’ relationships across depth.