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 other expeditions supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 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 and 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 OceanExplorer.NOAA.gov website. Educators who use the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection should regularly check the website for the latest information about new education offerings and professional development opportunities.
Access the entire How Do We Explore? book (pdf, 8.5 Mb)
**Individual lessons flagged below were recently updated. The updated versions are not reflected in the full Book Version (above). For the most recent versions, download the individual lesson PDFs below.
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.
This section includes: Table of Contents, An Introduction from the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research Director of Education, and an Overview of the Collection by the How Do We Explore? Lesson Developer.
Focus: Strategies for exploring unknown areas on Earth
Students explain how the exploration strategy used aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer determines the structure and function of the ship’s exploration technologies; how science, engineering, and technology influenced exploration strategies of the Lewis and Clark and HMS Challenger expeditions; how fractal geometry can be used to model patterns in natural systems; and how fractal geometric models can be used to explain how scale influences requirements for ocean exploration technologies.
Focus: Telepresence and communications for ocean exploration
Students understand how telepresence technologies increase the pace, efficiency, and scope of ocean exploration and how the basic properties of simple waves contribute to processes of obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in ocean exploration.
These activities provide an introduction to some of the fundamental concepts of wireless communication technology that support telepresence aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.
Focus: Bathymetric mapping
Students analyze and interpret data to explain how multibeam sonar is used to identify patterns of ocean floor structures, contruct three-dimensional maps, and understand how multibeam sonar technology extends the measurement and exploration capacity of modern ocean exploration. Addendum: Blank Wet Maps Graph, pg 62
Focus: Bathymetric mapping
Students analyze and interpret data from the Okeanos Explorer to explain how multibeam sonar is used to identify patterns of ocean floor structures and how multibeam sonar technology extends the measurement and exploration capacity of modern ocean exploration.
Focus: Multibeam sonar
Students explain how multibeam sonar uses the properties of sound waves in water for scientific research about topography of the ocean floor and analyze and interpret multibeam sonar data to identify patterns in the distribution of seafloor features that contribute to scientific research about large-scale interactions in Earth’s systems.
To supplement the Watching in 3-D lesson, the following activities describe how geographical and mapping data marry with expedition website data and selected interactive Fledermaus scene files from key discoveries. The Digital Atlas can be used to obtain information about expeditions supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, education resources associated with the expeditions, ship tracks, bathymetric maps, dive tracks, and more.
This activity gives students first-hand experience with using sound waves to measure distance, as well as an opportunity to learn problem-solving approaches and apply processes of engineering design.
Focus: Measuring physical properties of seawater for ocean exploration
Students explain how a CTD is used aboard the Okeanos Explorer to reveal patterns that help ocean explorers answer questions about the natural world and analyze and interpret data from the Okeanos Explorer to make inferences about relationships between density, salinity, temperature, and pressure in seawater.
Focus: Ocean chemistry and hydrothermal vents
Students analyze and interpret data from the Okeanos Explorer to make inferences about the possible presence of hydrothermal vents and explain how interaction with hydrothermal vents affects chemical and physical properties of seawater.
Focus: Use of CTD data in ocean exploration
Students explain how properties of redox potential and optical backscatter are related to deep-sea ecosystems and geologic features and analyze and interpret data from the Okeanos Explorer to detect potential anomalies.
Focus: Engineering Design
Students explain how underwater robots are used in scientific exploration to gather data and help answer questions about the natural world and design and optimize potential solutions for an ocean exploration problem.
Focus: Use of robotics for ocean exploration
Students explain how robotic vehicle technology is used to extend the exploration capacity of scientific investigations aboard the Okeanos Explorer, discuss how information from underwater robots about the variety of biological and geological conditions in marine ecosystems is relevant to the concept of biodiversity, and analyze and interpret video data from the Okeanos Explorer’s underwater robot to make inferences about environmental interactions of organisms in deep-sea ecosystems.
Focus: Image analysis
Students explain how robotic vehicle technology is used to extend the exploration capacity of scientific investigations aboard the Okeanos Explorer, use mathematics and computational thinking to show how lasers may be used in scientific investigations to calibrate images for size and distance measurements, and analyze and interpret video data from the Okeanos Explorer’s underwater robot to make inferences about environmental interactions of organisms in deep-sea ecosystems.
This series of three activities introduces basic systems used in many underwater robots to gather information for ocean exploration. The activities in this series include:
This section provides lists of resources and links associated with each topic area.
This matrix provides correlation of all How Do We Explore? lessons to the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts .
Addendum: How Do We Explore matrix illustrating lesson support for the Next Generation Science Standards
This appendix explores the NOAA Ocean Explorer OceanAGE web presence which is a unique online educational resource that enables users to learn more about a variety of ocean careers available to those interested in work on or in the ocean.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.