Carmen Andrews: Introduction June 20, 2012

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Carmen Andrews
Aboard R/V Savannah
July 6 – 18, 2012

Carmen Andrews
Carmen Andrews


Happy Summer Solstice Day! I am Carmen Andrews.  I work as a science specialist at  Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School in Bridgeport, CT.  I have just finished my 5th year at this school.  I create science curriculum for grades pre-K through 8. I also teach many classes to help teachers improve their understanding of science concepts and inquiry methods.

Six to Six Magnet School
Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School, Bridgeport, CT

Our school has a unique academic program that incorporates partnerships with the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT and the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden, CT.  Our students visit many other places, including the Yale Peabody Museum and Yale Leitner Family Planetarium and Observatory in New Haven. We also allow our students to remotely operate the Gold Apple Valley Radio Telescope in California. My favorite places to teach classes are the unspoiled outdoor sites in Connecticut where we take our students for field studies.

4th Grade Marsh Field Study
4th Graders on a Marsh Field Study
Kindergarteners Investigating Invertebrates
Kindergarteners Investigating Marine Invertebrates
Sixth Graders
6th Graders Counting Intertidal Organisms Using a Quadrat

I love research!

One of my passions as an educator is creating opportunities for students to investigate real world problems using science inquiry. This year my 6th and 7th graders took on a big environmental research project. They were asked to research bioremediation and to develop a creative solution to a major problem in their community  — toxic oil spills. The work was funded by a NSTA/Toyota Tapestry Grant award, which enabled us to find out about blue and gray oyster mushrooms’ ability to metabolize oil spills in soil. Our project is called Going Green in Brownfields: A New Diet for Mushrooms. You can see our blog here: 

Mushroom Harvest
A 7th Grader Massing Blue Oyster Mushrooms Grown in Motor Oil

My Teacher at Sea Adventure

The NOAA Teacher at Sea program was created to provide teachers with experiences in science research. We share our knowledge with our school communities using blogs, teaching and writing articles when we return from our Teacher at Sea assignment. I am very excited to learn about the work of NOAA in monitoring fisheries in U.S. coastal waters. I am eager to share this  scientific research with students. I also want to expose students to the variety of maritime and marine science careers that they can consider pursuing in later life.

I will be departing on the R/V Savannah in about 2 weeks to participate in a reef fish survey.  The next time I write, I will most likely be somewhere near Skidaway Island, GA.  My target audience for my blogs while I am at sea, are students, colleagues and friends of all ages. Please feel free to post your comments and questions about this important science research.

8 Replies to “Carmen Andrews: Introduction June 20, 2012”

  1. Hi Carmen,
    Great to see you are off on another wonderful summer adventure! I’m excited to hear all about your adventure and see your photos. Tomorrow, I’m meeting with the educators who will be in charge of our Jr. Marine Biologist summer program and I’ll be sure to show them your blog and we’ll work this into their daily schedule. The campers will be amazed to communicate with a real scientist out at sea! Thank you for helping us do this!
    Ann Marie

    1. Third day at sea. Busy, busy, busy. Just finished first blog — waiting for approval to publish.

  2. Hey Carmen,

    Haven’t heard from you in a while. How is teacher at Sea going? What type of surveys are you doing?
    Ann Marie

    1. Hi Ann Marie,

      We are using chevron fish traps, outfitted with 2 kinds of high resolution under water video cameras. First blog is almost ready — it gives an over view of the research area and focus. Please don’t hesitate to post questions for clarification or anything people are curious about.


  3. Carmen,

    Sounds pretty exciting!! I’m looking forward to reading your first blog post all about the research. Things at the aquarium are going well this summer. We have some great kids signed up for summer camp. Our Jr. Marine Biologist students will be very interested in reading your blog posts and asking you questions – be prepared!
    Ann Marie

    1. Hi Ann Marie,

      Check out the two posts above. I designed them to be very illustrative of the real science work that happens on this kind of research vessel. Some may look very familiar to you.

      I have scads of other photos and stories to share when I see you.

      I will be posting trap retrieval & fish work up pieces. The work up may be a bit graphic for innocent eyes — dissection that pulls out otoliths & gonads & stomachs. I’ll try to keep the pix on the less gory side, but I’ll verbally describe the reason for the various samples.

      Stay tuned!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: