NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer
Education Materials Collection

Diamond Icon NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection
Diamond Icon Expedition Education Modules
Diamond Icon Ocean Explorer Theme Pages
Diamond Icon Professional Development Opportunities
Diamond Icon Careers Connections
Diamond Icon Resources and Links

OE Education

The Education Vision for the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is that this is the ship upon which learners of all ages embark together on scientific voyages of exploration to poorly-known or unexplored areas of the global ocean. Learners will participate in innovative ways as ocean explorers in breakthrough discoveries leading to increased scientific understanding and enhanced literacy about our ocean world.

To help fulfill this mission, the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection was developed to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of the Okeanos Explorer— America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration. The Education Materials Collection is presented in two volumes: Volume 1: Why Do We Explore? (modern reasons for ocean exploration) and Volume 2: How Do We Explore? (exploration methods and associated technologies). Each Volume begins with a lesson that guides students in broad investigation of the overall topic, followed by background information and lessons orgainzed by key subject areas. Some of the lessons provided have been adapted from lessons previously developed for various NOAA Ocean Explorer expeditions, while others have been created specifically for the Okeanos Explorer education initiative. Whenever possible, hands-on activities are included that involve manipulations other than paper-and-pencil exercises or Web-based research. The reason for doing this is that field science, and exploration in particular, depend heavily upon technology and problem-solving skills needed to create, use, and advance new technology.

Each lesson in the Collection supports the Next Generation Science Standards:

Each lesson also supports the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts. This does not necessarily mean that a particular lesson fully develops the noted standards, principles, or concepts, but, rather, indicates that an educator may use the information in the lesson as a context or point of departure for addressing those standards.

Lessons also include links to other relevant lesson plans from the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, as well as the Ocean Explorer Web site. Educators who use the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection should regularly check the Okeanos Explorer Education section for the latest information about new education offerings and professional development opportunities.

Welcome aboard!

Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection

Diamond Volume 1: Why Do We Explore?

    camera icon Why Do We Explore? Keynote Address (3.6 Mb)

Diamond Volume 2: How Do We Explore?

Diamond Traducción al español de las lecciones de Explorando el océano profundo con NOAA, el taller para el desarrollo profesional del educador


Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA
Selected lessons from the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, V1: Why Do We Explore? and V2: How Do We Explore? have been updated for the current educator professional development workshops and are provided here.


Expedition Education Modules

Diamond Icon Gulf of Mexico 2017

Diamond Icon Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts

Diamond Icon 2017 Laulima O Ka Moana: Exploring Deep Monument Waters Around Johnston Atoll

Diamond Icon Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

Diamond Icon Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas

Diamond Icon 2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa

Diamond Icon Deepwater Wonders of Wake

Diamond Icon 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

Diamond Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawai’i

Diamond Tropical Exploration 2015

Diamond Océano Profundo 2015: Exploring Puerto Rico’s Seamounts, Trenches, and Troughs

Diamond Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014

Diamond East Coast Mapping 2014

Diamond Gulf of Mexico 2014

Diamond Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013

Diamond New England Seamounts Expedition 2013

Diamond Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Shakedown Expedition 2013

Diamond Ship Shakedown Expedition 2013

Diamond Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2012

Diamond Mid-Cayman Rise Expedition 2011

Diamond Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011

Diamond INDEX 2010: Indonesia-USA Deep-Sea Exploration of the Sangihe Talaud Region

Expedition Education Modules are designed as an education unit to share the excitement of daily at-sea discoveries and the science behind NOAA’s major ocean exploration expeditions. Each module contains an Expedition Purpose, Lessons, Multimedia Discovery Missions, OceanAGE Career Connections, and Other Resources and Links. Click on the expeditions above to visit its corresponding Expedition Education Module.


Ocean Explorer Theme Pages

NOAA Ocean Explorer theme pages compile the most useful educational content on our site, including essays, lesson plans, multimedia, and expeditions.




Professional Development Opportunities
Ocean Explorer professional development offerings provide opportunities for teachers and other educators to engage in learning more about ocean exploration. The offerings, including onsite professional development workshops hosted at Alliance Partner sites around the country, online professional development, and periodic expedition webinars, are designed to introduce participants to premiere ocean scientists/explorers and their research and explorations, and at the same time, provide exemplary tools and resources to enhance the teaching and learning of ocean science and NOAA endeavors in ocean exploration.




Careers Connections
Interact with some of the talented explorers who study the ocean world. From underwater pilots to research scientists, these marine mentors will provide students with first-hand knowledge of exciting careers through their live interviews, profiles, and mission logs. Join us for a series of live webchats, interactive video webcasts, and text-based forums with several ocean explorers.


Cover of Current: The Journal of Marine EducationCurrent: The Journal of Marine Education
A Special Issue Featuring: A Closer Look at Ocean Careers through the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: A “Case Study” (pdf, 2.2 Mb)

In this issue of Current, the Journal of Marine Education, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer “comes alive,” capturing the enthusiasm of the ship’s officers, crew, and explorers as they live and work onboard the Nation’s first dedicated ship for ocean exploration. The combination of personnel and instrumentation on a single vessel dedicated to ocean exploration is unique and is presented here as a “case study” for educators and students wishing to know more about the paths traveled by some of the individuals who dedicate their lives to understanding more about our little-known ocean world.


Resources and Links
A list of other resources and links related to ocean exploration aboard the Okeanos Explorer, including online presentations by ocean explorers.

For more information, please contact the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research Education Team at: