NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter
July 19 – August 3, 2018
Mission: Cetacean Survey
Geographic Area: Northeast U.S. Atlantic Coast
Date: July 18, 2018
Latitude: 34° 18.967′ N
Longitude: 79° 52.047′ W
Temperature: 89° F (32° C)
Tomorrow is the big day! I am getting ready to board the plane from Florence, SC to Charlotte, NC to Providence, RI. I have never been to Rhode Island, so this is going to be a bucket list activity to keep adding states to my history. Rhode Island will make state number 24…almost half way!
I teach in a very rural high school in Lamar, South Carolina which is approximately 90 miles from Myrtle Beach. Lamar High School has about 280 students. This year we had a graduating class of 52 students. I teach Calculus, Statistics, and Algebra 2 Honors.
Teaching statistics is the main reason I applied to the Teacher at Sea program. I wanted to give my students some real world experience with statistics. I try to create my own data for students, but I end up using the same data from the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major League Baseball, etc. I had one student a couple of years ago in Algebra 2 Honors who is a weather lover. His favorite website is NOAA, and he would give me the daily weather or hurricane updates. Any time we had a baseball game, he would be able to tell me if we were going to be able to play the game. Being able to provide him and his classmates projects using data from something he loves will help me to reach that one student. Hopefully, I might even spark interest in other students.
Helping my students to become statisticians is the main reason I applied; however, I also applied to challenge myself. Throughout my life, I have not been the kind of person who deals well with creepy crawly things. Being on a ship on the ocean will definitely force me to deal with that. I want to do my very best to get involved in all kinds of neat activities. I hope “Cool Beans!” will be my daily saying.
I am really looking forward to working with the scientists on the Gordon Gunter. Having read as much as I can about the Passive Acoustic Research Group has helped me to understand a little of what we will be doing on our 15-day journey. I hope that I can help them to further their research to learn the patterns that cetaceans use to communicate with each other!