2017 American Samoa

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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

Creatures of Change
Grade Level: 6-8 or 9-12
Focus: Vailulu’u seamount ecosystems (Life Science/Earth Science)
Students will create physical models that illustrate changes in Vailulu’u seamount topography over time, and use these models and other evidence to make inferences about the relationship between physical and biological components of Vailulu’u seamount ecosystems.

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.


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.


A Hydrothermal AdVENTure
(From the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Grades: 5-6
Focus: Hydrothermal vents (Physical Science)
Students will explain the overall structure of hydrothermal vents and how they are related to the motion of tectonic plates, and will create a model of a hydrothermal vent.


Grades 9-12

The Chemosynthetic Café
(From the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Grade Level 9-12
Focus: Chemosynthesis in hydrothermal vent ecosystems (Biology/Chemistry)
Students will compare and contrast photosynthesis and chemosynthesis; define oxidation and reduction as these terms apply to electron transfer; and explain the overall process by which energy is captured and transferred during photosynthesis and chemosynthesis.


The Tell-Tale Plume
(From the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Grade Level 9-12
Focus: Hydrothermal vent chemistry (Chemistry)
Students will describe hydrothermal vents, identify changes that they cause to the physical and chemical properties of seawater, and use oceanographic data to recognize a probable plume from hydrothermal activity.


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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