PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

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.

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Ocean Drifters Teaching Animation

Ocean drifters measure currents and other parameters, such as temperature and salinity, to further deepen our understanding of the oceanic environment. The main difference between the two major types of ocean drifters are their placement in the water column. As their name suggests, surface drifters remain in the top one meter (three feet) of the water column whereas deepwater drifters are suspended to a certain depth below the water surface to track subsurface currents. 

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:

A Sinking Feeling

Use the “Think, Try, Make, Redesign” engineering model to build a neutrally buoyant vehicle from everyday materials like ketchup packets, washers, spare change, and rubber bands. In this perseverance-building challenge, students explore material properties to explore what makes something float, sink, or find neutral buoyancy. Students will learn how buoyancy impacts Exploration Vessel Nautilus and our ROVs as platforms for exploration.

STEM Learning Module:

Rubberband Thrusters

Propeller-driven thrusters maneuver ROV Hercules above the seafloor. Students will design rubberband-powered thrusters to race as fast as possible along a zipline track. Documenting and comparing designs challenges groups to identify the most successful solutions. Use this module as an inquiry-driven introduction to forces and motion or to the engineering design process. The module includes animations of ROV thrusters and a basic construction timelapse video for educators or younger students.

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

ROV Buoyancy Teaching Animation

ROV Argus is a heavy unmanned vehicle that hangs below E/V Nautilus and operates in tandem with ROV Hercules, where it hovers several meters above in order to provide a bird’s-eye view of operations on the seafloor. Argus is also capable of operating as a stand-alone system for large-scale deepwater survey missions.

Clips used in public presentations should be credited “Courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust/ Nautilus Live.”