Have you ever wondered how a research vessel and its crew function? How grants are administered and how unexpected things take place on board? Our teachers who participated in our last week’s In Depth Investigations-Teacher Workshop (October 11th-13th) were able to experience this first hands. They switched their roles of educators to CWC and LUMCON scientists in our Stimulation of Research Cruise Activity. While measuring the depth of the ocean floor using the models they created, teachers had to pull scenarios from a box that made their research easier or harder to manage. Such scenarios included: hurricanes, time management issues that prevented setting sail on time, crew getting sick, etc. In their reflective section, teachers concluded that they were able to understand that grant making and research is not as fun and easy as most scientists make it seem. They are now able to take this new understanding to their classrooms and spread the knowledge that grant writing and administering is also part of being a great scientist and researcher. The journey can become difficult and hard, but scientists have to think on their feet to get things done! Special shout outs and thanks were sent to our CWC and LUMCON scientists!
However, this was not the only fun activity we had in store for them! They also had the opportunity to build a ROV and take ROV kits granted to them by the generous grants from the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission, Coastal Waters Consortium and LUMCON. This ROV kit will allow them to have a model to utilize for their classroom teachings when discussing oceanography and the BP Oil Spill. This allows them to have a hands-on activity for their students to enjoy. They also built mini landers using a plastic cup, metal weights, rubber bands, film canister, four pennies, Alka Seltzer, and Duct tape. The Mini landers sank to the bottom of our aquarium tanks and then floated back to the surface with the chemical reaction Alka Seltzer, water and pennies made. It was indeed a great weekend to spend learning more about physical oceanography, geological oceanography and ocean floors! Thanks to all the teachers who participated! We will be posting the lesson plans for the activities soon!