As I reflect on my time as an educator onboard the JOIDES Resolution (JR)I hope that I inspired a few future scientist. Providing live broadcasts from the JR allowed me to connect students to the ships microcosm of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Students got to interact with all different types of scientists such as geochemists, micro-paleontologists, sedimentologists and paleomagnetists. Learners of all ages experienced first-hand the interdisciplinary nature of STEM careers.
“Thank you for the time you guys spent so us kids can see real scientific exploration. I have never seen a real core sample, how amazing! Its so cool how you can see fossils of ancient organisms!” (Nathan from Chico Jr. High School)
Lets not forget the drillers, and all JR engineers who use technical skills to locate the seafloor bottom at the exact computed location. Last but not least the laboratory technicians, the information system programmers and all the other STEM professionals onboard.
When asked: “What did you think was the most interesting part of the videoconference?” students replied:
* The size of the ship and how many people on the JR are specialized in different areas.
* Seeing the way everyone gets along with each other, all the members really acting like a team.
* Showing the core samples cut in half, revealing the texture of the sample.
* The fact that they are making history every day, because they are exploring things never seen before.
Scientists caring core on to the catwalk
Seeing science in action allows students to understand that it takes teamwork to succeed. JR and the international nature of this research program reflect how future scientists will continue to collaborate. On board are not only US scientists but also over 11-nationalities and the multi- lingual and cultural environment reflects the direction of future scientists.
While much of the science is automated and computers generate data, scientist still all keeps a science notebook hand written notes: samples, analytical data, graphs, and images. Showing this teaches the important of observation skills whether the technology is advanced or requires observation skills such as viewing slides through the microscope.
Students of all ages got to see how exciting, interesting and fun science is.
Many of the scientists also showed their creative nature through photography, music (playing instruments), dance and other hobbies, truly STEAM (A=art). This art can also be expressed in the sciences as my college Markus Fingerle shows in his blog the colorful JR and other creative educational approaches he and his fellow teachers have taken.
“First of all let me just say I am very thankful that we have things like the ship to shore web conference. It makes me very excited, getting to meet actual scientists. I am into science so I thank all of you amazing scientists/people that made this possible. Happy sailing.”(Declan from Chico Jr. High School)