Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs

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Classroom Lessons

Classroom lessons and learning tools relevant to the expedition are listed below by grade level. Although some of these resources may have been developed for past expeditions conducted in other regions of the world ocean, the Focus Questions and Student Learning Objectives are applicable to the current expedition.


Exploring LIVE with NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer (Grades 5-12)
Focus: How students can become active ocean explorers while viewing live video feeds during Okeanos Explorer expeditions (Physical Science/Earth Science)
Students learn how to access the Ocean Explorer website, access a live video feed of an Okeanos Explorer expedition, and explore along with the ocean science community live during Okeanos Explorer expeditions.


Grades 6-8

Return to the Moat of Death
Grade Level 6-8
Focus: What geological, biological and oceanographic processes have resulted in habitats observed on Vailulu'u Seamount? (Physical Science/Life Science)
Students explain how geological, biological and oceanographic processes are involved with habitats observed on Vailulu'u seamount, and discuss the time and spatial scales over which these processes operate.


Easy as Pi
(From the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies Expedition)
Grade Level 5-6
Focus: Structural complexity in coral reef communities (Life Science/Mathematics)
Students describe the importance of structural features that increase surface area in coral reef habitats; quantify the relative impact of various structural modifications on surface area in model habitats; and give examples of organisms that increase the structural complexity of their communities.


To Make an Archipelago!
(From the Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaii Expedition 2015)
Grade Level 6-8
Focus: Formation of the Hawaiian Archipelago (Physical Science/Life Science)
Students describe eight stages in the formation of islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago and how a combination of hotspot activity and tectonic plate movement could produce the arrangement of seamounts observed in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Students also construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how a combination of hotspot activity and tectonic plate movement could produce the distributions of cobalt-rich ferromanganese resources found in the Hawaiian Archipelago.


Grades 9-12

Round and Round
(From the 2002 Mountains in the Sea Expedition)
Grade Level 9-12
Focus: Circulation cells in the vicinity of seamounts (Earth Science)
Students interpret data from a three-dimensional array of current monitors to infer an overall pattern of water circulation; hypothesize what effect an observed water circulation pattern might have on seamount fauna that reproduce by means of floating larvae; and describe the importance of measurements to verify theoretical predictions.


Deep Coral Communities: Sentinels of a Changing Ocean
(From: Deep Coral Communities Curriculum, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries)
Grades: 9-12
Focus: Species found in deep-sea coral communities, the threats that face them, and what individuals and communities can do help protect them
Students will be able to describe the physical and biological components of the deep sea in the five national marine sanctuaries on the West Coast; experience the challenges associated with identifying species and recording data taken with ROVs; explain how scientists analyze data by using species diversity and abundance from recorded video; explain the importance of characterizing habitat and be able to describe the various habitat types found in deep-sea coral communities; understand the human caused threats that face deep-sea coral communities; and explain actions that individuals and communities can take to protect these special places.


NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection
This lesson collection was developed to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer –America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration. The Education Materials Collection is presented in two volumes:



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