NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection - Volume 2: How Do We Explore?

Volume 2 of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection - How Do We Explore? begins with an introductory section that sets the stage for the exploration strategy of the Okeanos Explorer. The book is divided into sections based on the modern exploration tools used aboard the ship:  telepresence, multibeam sonar, water column investigations and underwater robots. Some of these lessons 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 this volume supports the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts exit icon. 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.

Book Version

PDF of the entire How Do We Explore? book (8.5 Mb)

**Indvidual lessons flagged below were updated in 2017. The updated versions are not reflected in the full Book Version (above). For the most recent versions, download the individual lesson PDFs below.

PDF files of Individual Lessons

Please note that while each of the following lessons is targeted toward a specific grade level, most can be adapted for use in other grades as well.


Section 1:
Introduction to Volume 2: How Do We Explore?

Section 2:

Section 3:
Multibeam Sonar

Section 4:
Water Column Investigations

Section 5:
Underwater Robots

Resources & Standards


How Do We Explore? Online Professional Development

For more information and video introductions on Telepresence, Multibeam Mapping, Water Column Exploration and Underwater Robots, visit the online professional development offerings for How Do We Explore?, archived here.


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