Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NOAA Alaska Hydrographic Surveying Cruise Sept. 3-23!!!

I recently found out that I will be heading to Sitka, Alaska September 3rd to start my hydrographic surveying cruise aboard the NOAA ship the Rainier!  I knew a couple teachers in Flagstaff had been involved with the NOAA Teacher at Sea program, but the timing wasn't right for me yet.  After my space academy PD, and then being able to implement so many engaging activities afterwards I knew how to mesh what I learned into the classroom.  I also attended a NOAA Teacher at Sea session at the NSTA conference in Kansas City, MO last fall.  Once I was able to hear about the experience from the teacher that lived it I knew I had to apply!  I was very grateful to hear I was accepted in the spring and wished I could leave right then.  However, there is a lot to learn and I had to have a couple doctor visits to make sure I was fit and didnt have TB.  Other obstacles such as cruise dates have been a little stressful, but this is because I have so many other PD opportunities going on and I got accepted to around the same time.  Thankfully Liz McMahon at NOAA has worked with me, and my new school (Northland Preparatory Academy) has given me their blessing so I am set to go.  I have always wanted to go to Alaska and I cant wait to be there in person instead of watching through at TV screen.  It is a longer cruise than I had anticipated.  It is three weeks, and that is three weeks out of the classroom.  However, it couldn't have worked out better that I would be teaching 6th grade science because that is when students study the ocean and atmosphere!  This trip is going to align perfectly!  It will also align with the geography standards in the 6th grade social studies that I will be teaching as well.  While at sea students will actually be able to track my ship and make contact through email with questions.  I will also be blogging, hopefully, every day with pictures and a description of what I did that day. I hope to take it a step further by assigning small tasks, podcasting, and vodcasting while on the cruise.  I hate to say the word cruise because in no WAY will it be a vacation.  It is crazy hours, crazy weather, tight quarters, sea sickness, and scientific work.  It isn't a holiday and I just want to make sure that people realize that.  There is also a lot of prep work and research that I will have to do before I leave, and a lot of work I will have to do for NOAA in the classroom when I get back.  This is very exciting for me though.  I see this as a great opportunity to learn more about the scientific community and our oceans.  I actually have very little background in oceanography and I think this experience will allow me to provide a better education and better experiences for my students.  Once I get my blog going for the trip I will post it here to follow as well!  Here are some links to the ship and hydrographic surveying if you want to check it out!

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