NOAA Teacher at Sea
(Almost) Aboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson
August 2 – 13, 2015
Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical area of cruise: North Atlantic
Date: July 25, 2015
Hello everyone! Greetings from New Jersey!
My name is Jeanne Muzi. I am an elementary teacher, Gifted & Talented/Enrichment Specialist at Lawrence Township Public Schools in Lawrenceville, NJ.
I am very excited and truly honored to be a part of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program and look forward to working hard and learning a lot! I will be boarding NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson in early August! I can’t wait!
If you would like to find out more about the Thomas Jefferson, check out this website: http://www.moc.noaa.gov/tj/index.html
I will be writing this blog for the next few weeks to share stories about all the different people I meet, the things I see and what I am doing. This blog will be written especially for my students, so if you are a kindergarten through third grade learner you might want to check back to see different questions I post or interesting observations I may share.
Quick! Where is your favorite place? Where do you go to think, dream, wonder, play, relax and have fun? For me there is only one place—The beach!
Growing up on Long Island, NY, we were surrounded by water, so heading to the beach was easy. I attended summer camp on the east end of the island and loved to swim, canoe, sail and collect shells. This picture was taken when I was eight years old. My family was visiting the South Street Seaport in New York City and I was fascinated with the Lightship Ambrose. Its job was to keep other ships out of danger. I always wondered what it would be like to sail on her…
Years later the Lightship Ambrose is still at the Seaport…And I am getting a chance to sail on a much larger ship!
As a member of the Teacher at Sea program, I figured I should find out some information about NOAA. NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA is an Operating Unit of the United States Department of Commerce. The National Weather Service is a component of NOAA and there are many areas that NOAA scientists are involved in including coastal restoration, fisheries management, satellite systems, climate studies and research into biodiversity. You can find out more at http://www.noaa.gov
NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program, celebrating its 25th year, provides an opportunity for teachers from kindergarten through 12 grade and college, to participate with scientists working on oceanographic research projects aboard a NOAA vessel. There are three categories of missions: fishery surveys, hydrographic work or physical oceanography studies. Teachers at Sea use their hands-on, real-world learning opportunities to develop classroom-learning experiences for their students. They also share their new knowledge and skills with other teachers, schools and communities. The mission of the Teacher at Sea Program is “Science, Service and Stewardship.”
Find out more at http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/#/home/
My mission aboard the Thomas Jefferson is a Hydrographic Survey. When I received my assignment, the first question that came to mind was: What is hydrography?
According to NOAA: “Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of bodies of water and the land areas near those bodies of water. NOAA conducts hydrographic surveys to measure the depth and bottom configuration of water bodies. The data is used to update nautical charts and develop hydrographic models. During a hydrographic survey, NOAA scientists use sonar to develop charts, locate underwater hazards to navigation, search for and map objects on the sea floor such as shipwrecks, and map the sea floor itself.”
That sounds really amazing! Now I have lots of questions about sonar, mapping and why this work is so important! As I learn new things about hydrography, I will post the information. I know that the more questions I ask, the more I will learn! I also keep thinking about the connections I can make with what I am already doing with my students…
As someone who teaches younger students, I strive to help them strengthen their problem-solving skills and develop a strong sense of wonder and curiosity. Each year I develop a range of cross-curricular projects that build creativity and critical thinking. This past school year, we designed and built effective water filters, created solar ovens, mapped waterways and designed board games. We worked on engineering tasks like marble roller coasters, egg protectors and balancing puzzles.
One of my students’ favorite lessons each year is called “Think like a Scientist” and we try to figure out all the things scientists need to do in order to discover new things. I am looking forward to adding lots of new ideas to what it means to “Think Like Scientist” while aboard the Thomas Jefferson.
A highlight for me every year as a teacher is my involvement in an environmental education program called Streamkeepers, which focuses on monitoring and observing the ecosystem of a local waterway. The Streamkeepers work as citizen scientists and it is always incredible to see young students understand how the streams, rivers and oceans of our world connect us. Learning about hydrographic surveying aboard the Thomas Jefferson will provide me with another way to teach about water and our oceans.
As I get ready to head out on my Teacher at Sea adventure, I keep thinking about three important things I stress as I teach:
- Do not be afraid to take risks.
- It is very important to step out of your comfort zone.
- There is great value in looking at things through other people’s eyes.
As a Teacher at Sea, I will be able to put these ideas into action!
Each blog entry I post will have a Question of the Day and a Picture of the Day! Here are the first ones:
Question: Think about what you know about President Thomas Jefferson…What does he have to do with the Atlantic Ocean?
Picture: What is this?
Thanks for reading! I look forward to sharing much more from the Thomas Jefferson!