Games & Creativity:

Exploration A to Z Flashcards

Explore the vocabulary of exploration from A to Z!  These fun flashcards will introduce learners to creatures, features, and technology from the deep sea in a fun, print-at-home format. Follow the QR code on each card to dive deeper into learning with a Nautilus exploration video or image gallery!

A is for Argus

B is for Basalt

C is for Chemosynthesis

D is for Deep Sea Corals

E is for Explorers

F is for Fangtooth fish

G is for Googly-Eyed Stubby Squid

H is for Hercules

I is for Isopod

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

ROV Explainer Graphic Poster

Learn about the features of Remotely Operated Vehicles which help the Corps of Exploration understand our ocean world. 

Learn more about the ROVs and different technologies used in the Nautilus Exploration Program here

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Surviving & Thriving in Cold Water

Anywhere in the world, the temperature of most water in the deep ocean is only 39 degrees F. Most seafloor creatures live at that temperature at all times. Most animals ROV Hercules encounters on the seafloor are invertebrates, which do not regulate body temperature like mammals. However, animals that infrequently visit the deep sea, like deep-diving whales, must have adaptations to handle the cold temperatures.

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Ocean Zone Home

In this multi-day lesson, students will explore the variety of habitats in the ocean.  Using the ocean zone slides, learners will compare new species and organize their thinking using different organizational charts and documents. Students will work though an ocean zone slideshow, each day is a new comparison of species! Using different strategies, students will have the opportunity to study multiple sea creatures and their unique characteristics. 

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Migration of Blacktip Sharks

As keystone species, sharks are vital to the ocean ecosystem. With this lesson, using the 5E method (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) students explore animal migration, specifically using the example of Blacktip sharks. Students will dive into an ongoing research mystery examining where Blacktip sharks go and how their numbers are changing, and why blacktips are important to the Gulf of Mexicos ecosystem, and what they can do to try to increase the species declining numbers. 

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Adaptations Of Octopuses

This lesson uses the 5E method (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) to dive into the lives of octopuses and how this animal group has evolved over time to adapt to their environments. With a hands-on demonstration, students will mock up octopus ink and examine how octopus use camouflage on the seafloor. 

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Oviparous Ocean Animals (Babies in Eggs)

When E/V Nautilus visited the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2018, the team discovered miles and miles of octopus brooding, or protecting their eggs, along cliff edges. In 2019, the Corps of Exploration returned to see if this amazing discovery was still happening and to gather data on why they were there. Using the 5E method (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) this lesson, looks at the life history strategy of egg-laying organisms, like octopus. 

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Coral Reefs in the Dark

Deep-sea corals are vastly different from shallow water corals that are typically shown when students are introduced to coral reefs. Deep-sea corals do not gather their energy from the sun using photosynthesis and the relationship with zooxanthellae. Instead, deep water corals capture all of their food from sinking "marine snow", dead organisms, organic matter, other nutrients falling from higher in the water column. This lesson, using the 5E method of teaching (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate), looks at deep-sea corals of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Jr. Ocean Clean Up

Using the 5E method (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) students will learn about human impacts on the ocean environment. Learners will explore how trash impacts marine life, and how they can reduce their impacts, even if they don't live near the ocean shore. The Nautilus team has discovered trash on the seafloor around the world and teams have discovered garbage even in the Marianas Trench.  Engage your learners in becoming environmental stewards with a hands-on challenge to design a tool to clean various pollutants from a waterway.