So, now that I am going, what am I supposed to do?


The R/V Weatherbird II will set sail in 2 days and I am beginning my preparations for the research cruise.  I feel that I am in a unique position as a teacher with a science background.  I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in marine science and from the University of Maine with a MS in marine biology.  Teaching is my second career but I have always been confident in my knowledge and teaching abilities.

With this opportunity, I am hoping to develop lesson plans to use in the classroom that introduce students to science with real time data and applications.  So many times, I have found myself adapting an activity that I have found so that my students can understand the objectives.  Unfortunately, the number of marine science related activities available to teachers are extremely limited and those that are available are often too simple for high school or too in-depth and involved for an average class length.  So, my goal is to begin to develop lesson plans that will be relevant and attainable by all.

I have taught marine science for 10 years and pretty much know the curriculum inside and out so I can begin to mentally think about what units are lacking in hands-on activities or manipulatives.  I am excited about the possibilities as I begin to plan experiments; the first being about pressure.  It is hard for students to understand the dramatic increase in pressure with depth.  So, I would like to demonstrate this using Styrofoam.  I have decorated several cups and 2 heads that will lowered towards the ocean floor during the cruise.  I am very excited about the results!  Let me share the BEFORE photos and be on the look out for the AFTER photos!

A sample of the Styrofoam heads and cups that will be lowered to the ocean floor.

I had to decorate them, right? A 12-inch ruler has been included for size relation.