The Deep East Mission Patch

The Deep East Mission Patch represents the three target focuses during the September 2001 Voyage of Discovery.


The Deep east mission has several educational and outreach thrusts. Among them are Lesson plans and a Web chat and forum.

Lesson Plans
Web Forum & Chat
Ocean Exploration Days

Lesson Plans

With the recent establishment of the Ocean Exploration Program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there exists an unprecedented opportunity to focus millions of eyes on our essentially unexplored world of water—a world that may hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, novel energy sources, as yet undiscovered cures for human diseases, and previously unknown metabolic pathways. Specifically, the Deep East 2001 Voyage of Discovery has great potential for generating exciting outreach and education opportunities, and serving as a national model for the development of materials and related programs for all of NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program education efforts.

As such, classroom teachers working with NOAA during July 2001 developed a series of lesson plans for students in Grades 5 – 12 that are specifically tied to the Deep East 2001 Voyage of Discovery. These lesson plans focus on cutting-edge ocean exploration and research, using state-of-the-art technology, aboard one of the nation’s most sophisticated research vessels, the R/V Atlantis and its submersible Alvin, which are owned and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The lesson plans focus specifically on the importance of ocean exploration and the research taking place during the Deep East 2001 Voyage of Discovery, and feature such topics as deep-sea corals off George’s Bank, biodiversity and materials transport at the Hudson Canyon, and gas hydrates on the Blake Ridge.

The lesson plans are grouped into the following categories:
Grades 5-6
Grades 7-8
Grades 9-12 (chemical, biological, earth, and physical science).

Each grade-level grouping includes one activity that introduces students to ocean exploration in general, and additional activities that focus on research being conducted at one of the three geographic regions. In addition to being tied to the National Science Education Standards, the hands-on, inquiry-based activities include focus questions, background information for teachers, links to interesting Internet sites, and "extensions." Another significant component for each activity is a section that includes adaptations for deaf students.

A pilot group of teachers received professional development in the use of the activities in mid-August. Their schools are known as Deep East Schools of Exploration, and they will receive special media coverage during the Deep East Expedition.

Read a description of each lesson plan and/or download them to your computer.

Web Forum & Chat

Students in the classroom and members of the public will be able to interact directly with scientists and explorers on the Deep East expedition by logging onto an Ocean Explorer Web forum (September 24-27), and/or participating in a live on-line chat (September 28 from 1-2 pm EST). The text-based interface is easy to use, and all messages submitted will be moderated to ensure that the comments and questions made public are appropriate for students of all ages.

When the Web forum/chat page is accessed, all you need to do is type out your question and then click the "Refresh Screen or Submit New Message" button. Also, whenever asking a member of the Deep East expedition a question, please enter your name, your school, and your state, if applicable. Once your questions are posted to the Web forum/chat page, during the four days of the Web forum, they will be answered the following day. Every day, the researchers and other members of the mission team will do their best to address your questions.

Review a transcript of the Web forum/chat page.

Ocean Exploration Days

The Deep East Expedition and Islands in the Stream-South Atlantic Bight Voyages of Discovery are converging in Charleston, South Carolina. You are invited to visit related displays at the South Carolina Aquarium. See details below:

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001
3 pm
Ocean Exploration Program
South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium is hosting a special program at the Great Ocean Tank with a mini-ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to celebrate ocean exploration.

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001
12 Noon
Ocean Exploration Program
South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium is hosting a special program at the Great Ocean Tank with a mini-ROV to celebrate ocean exploration.

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