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 monitor 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.