NOAA and the Whales

Saturday was another day filled with learning, but this time, it was at the Georgia Aquarium.  The workshop I attended, entitled “How Do We Explore?” took a room full of educators on an exploration of how all standards (not just those on science) can be taught based on our oceans.  Believe it or not, our world’s oceans are still largely unexplored.  So NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has constructed a ship that is fully equipped with scientific instruments to test, analyze, explore the ocean.  All of the data they collect is beamed up through a satellite, which then distributes their findings almost
instantaneously over the internet.  New species of plants and animals are literally being discovered daily.  Beyond this, the Okeanos Explorer, this NOAA exploration vessel, is also working with multibeam sonar to map the ocean floor.

In this all-day workshop, my colleagues and I built a model that mimicked the multibeam sonar’s capabilities, constructed a hydraulic robot arm, and tested water for its temperature and pH to better understand how the Okeanos Explorer carries out its duties.  As an added perk, I was able to see the majestic Beluga Whales as well as the Whale Sharks suggests afterwards.  It was certainly a Saturday well spent.

Until next time,

Ms. W.

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