Outreach Across the Globe
As part of the science communication team on board the E/V Nautilus, our mission is far more than just deploying instruments with ROVs and collecting samples from the sea floor. We're sharing the excitement of ocean exploration with audiences all over the world.
From Brazil to New Hampshire, our daily live interactions and 24/7 broadcasts help showcase the importance of the work that we're doing. They also help stimulate curiosity in the minds of our youth and beyond. Giving them the inspiration that just might guide them to become the next leading marine scientist.
Over the past few weeks, myself and the other Science Communication Fellows have led virtual classroom sessions with schools in order to give them a full behind the scenes view of everything happening on this amazing vessel. Most of the sessions have been with biology or oceanography classes, ranging from 3rd grade to high school. However, it's been interesting seeing the vast amount of areas that these individual schools are focusing on.
One school even held an ROV design class where students were able to build and test their own underwater ROVs. They tuned in live with myself and one of the ROV pilots to learn the most efficient design methods, and ways they could improve upon some of their work. Our sessions have even included graduate students from Texas State University, who would soon be working as educators themselves. Our experience on board the ship proved to be valuable information that they could use for their own future lesson plans and engagement ideas with their soon to be students.
There's definitely a feeling of satisfaction after these live sessions. Seeing the excitement in the student's faces when we show them footage we took of a rare vampire squid or sperm whale, or their eyes lighting up when we show various parts of the ship live. It's easy to see how just a single moment of live interaction, talking to real scientists out in the field doing the exact same work they are studying in class, can drastically impact their connection to learning.
I always state that curiosity is nature's PhD, and having the ability to spark that flame of curiosity in these students live, makes everything about this time out at sea so well worth it.