The JOIDES Resolution

How many science educators have the opportunity to spend two weeks at sea on a scientific drill ship? Only about 20 per year, and this year I’m one of them. QUEST Education was invited to participate in the School of Rock, sponsored by Deep Earth Academy, on board the research vessel JOIDES Resolution. The JR, as the ship is called, is 470 feet long and runs 24 hours a day drilling core samples and collecting measurements from under the ocean floor. The data gives scientists a better understanding of the history of the Earth’s climatic change.

For the next two weeks, my School of Rock comrades and I will be working alongside scientists exploring cores and developing educational resources. We’re departing out of Victoria, British Columbia, and are headed for Site 889 (that’s about 50 miles off the coast). The specific purpose of this expedition is to install a CORK–not quite like one found in a wine bottle, but a Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit. The CORK will monĀ­itor pressure at different depths in the ocean floor over time.

As part of my role with QUEST Education, I will be working with the other School of Rock participants to create short multimedia pieces about our experiences and about the drilling research we will be taking part in. These slideshows and videos will be great tools for engaging students in various aspects of earth science, careers and to help them better understand current scientific research. My arsenal of equipment contains 10 Flip Video cameras, 10 tripods, an audio recorder, digital camera, several sets of headphones and the all-important laptop. I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity of my colleagues.

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QUEST Education at the School of Rock 2 October,2015Andrea Aust


Andrea Aust

Andrea is the Senior Manager of Science Education for KQED, where she has been developing science education resources and providing professional learning for STEM educators for more than 10 years. Andrea graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Environmental Science and earned her M.A. in Teaching and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco. Prior to KQED, she taught, developed, and managed marine science and environmental education programs in Aspen, Catalina Island and the Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter at @KQEDaust.

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