From Naval Oceanographic Office Public Affairs
More than 40 students from across the nation are taking part in educational three-day sessions in June aboard an oceanographic survey ship in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the Naval Oceanographic Office’s (NAVOCEANO) annual OCEANS ALIVE program.
The Oceanographic Career Enhancement and Naval Science: Adventurous Learning in Variable Environments, or OCEANS ALIVE program, is designed to stimulate students’ interest in science and mathematics, by teaching them practical applications as they examine the ocean from sea surface to seafloor.
While aboard the ship, students are introduced to acoustics, geology, marine biology, bathymetry, meteorology and physical oceanography through a series of classroom lectures and hands-on projects. Students also gain an understanding of how the Navy collects and processes oceanographic data.
“It was interesting to learn how all the systems we studied are applied to the safety of our troops,” said Kathy DeWein, a teacher at Clarksville High School in Clarksville, Tenn.
Additionally, the program provides the opportunity for NAVOCEANO scientists to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with students and teachers in the community. It also provides a potential recruitment base of future oceanographers, mathematicians and engineers.
“I think this program is a great opportunity for us to see firsthand how all of the science and math we’re learning in school is used in real life,” said Danielle Boetcher, a student participant from Hartford, Wis.
Since 1998, more than 350 students and educators nationwide have participated in the OCEANS ALIVE program. An added feature is that teachers receive Continuing Education Units from the University of Southern Mississippi for their participation in the program.
"It's really rewarding to see students and teachers get so excited learning new things about the oceans," said Patty Harrison, Naval Oceanographic Office employee and OCEANS ALIVE coordinator.