PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Tech for Information Transfer

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.

Design Challenge:

Ocean Motion & the Attitude Sensor Project

How E/V Nautilus responds to open ocean waves and its orientation called the ship’s attitude. Sensors on the ship work to collect the variables of heave (up and down motion), pitch (front to back seesaw motion), and roll (side to side motion) of the vessel.

In this project, learn to build a Raspberry Pi©-powered sensor to collect pitch and roll data of your platform, just like the attitude sensor on Nautilus!


STEM Learning Module:

Navigation Simulation

Learn about navigation in the deep sea through this kinesthetic simulation. Blindfolded student partners take on the role of “robots” trying to make it from one point to another using only acoustic signaling and collect data for each round and determine whether changes in the frequency of an acoustic signal help in finding one’s way. Students will understand how GPS works, why we use different methods of navigation underwater, and technology and careers associated with deep-sea navigation.

STEM Learning Module:

Work It With Circuits

Use this as an introduction to the Sensor Technology Series or a stand-alone basic electricity lesson. Students will examine how electricity flows using conductive and resistive materials to build a basic circuit, drawing diagrams, and using models to explain what makes an electric circuit complete. For an extra challenge, students can design series and parallel circuits and define the differences.

STEM Learning Module:

Codes & Controllers

Ready to introduce students to coding & microcontroller technology? Use this easy-to-follow module to teach students hardware, software & coding basics using an Arduino microcontroller. Groups will analyze basic coding language, manipulate a provided, pre-written code to change output variables, practice building a basic circuit on a breadboard, and demonstrate learning by writing a blinking SOS code.  

Sensor Technology Series: Module 1

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Undersea Navigation Teaching Animation

E/V Nautilus and ROV Hercules are each equipped with transponders to signal or ping to each other to provide a signal or range bearing. This method of "talking" to each other is used to determine and keep track of the location of the ROV.

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

Design Challenge:

Augmented Reality Bathymetry Sandbox

The AR sandbox project combines 3D visualization applications with a hands-on sandbox exhibit to teach earth science concepts.

Designed by researchers at University of California - Davis, the hands-on exhibit allows learners to physically explore topographic and bathymetric concepts, relationships, and visualize the processes that result from manipulating the sand.

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Seafloor Mapping Teaching Animation

When exploring little-known regions of the ocean, we often need to create our own maps to plan efficient and safe operations. Nautilus is equipped with an acoustic echosounder that simultaneously collects bathymetric, seafloor backscatter, and water column backscatter data to enable identification of areas or features of interest and the production of high-quality seafloor maps at depths to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet).

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.

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Telepresence Teaching Animation

In addition to tools for conducting scientific exploration, the ship is equipped with a high-bandwidth satellite communication system that can transmit data to an unlimited number of viewers and scientists ashore who remotely stand watch with us.