SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF
OCEANOGRAPHY (SIO Explorer Expedition Discoveries)
"Only about 10
percent of the ocean floor has been comprehensively mapped using
modern sonar. There is still much to discover beneath the world's
oceans, which cover 140 million square miles, or 72 percent of the
The SIO Explorer project is part of
the National Science Foundation National Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics Digital Library project, working in
collaboration to create a modern Oceanography digital library for
inquiry-driven learning and resources for science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics for both scientists and "K through
Experience expeditions of
Scripps' voyages of discovery as they take
sonar readings and create
breathtaking computer images of towering seamounts, deep canyons and
wide plains. Modern technology allows for
pencil-point measurements of the sea floor from
analyzing returning sonar pulses, along with readings from
satellites, to map geological phenomenon in real time. "It's a
geologist's paradise down there"
for learning about the ocean floor's age, the thickness of various
sediments, and the position of seamounts which can rise more than
3,000 feet above surrounding areas, deep trenches, earthquakes,
volcanoes and mapping the boundaries of tectonic plates.
An expedition included studying a chain
of undersea volcanoes, called the Louisville Ridge, that lines the
sea floor northeast of New Zealand for thousands of miles. The huge
formation, similar to the one that gave rise to the Hawaiian
Islands, rises as high as 10,000 feet from the sea floor. Yet, its
top peaks are still more than 10,000 feet below the surface of the
library project is being built and has certain data available, such
as viewing photographs, diaries, ship logs and reports of the
Scripps expeditions. Eventually, the Web site will allow
visitors to "fly through" the ocean, close to the seamounts, valleys
and trenches they are studying.
The SIOExplorer provides substantial
material to cover all the earth science requirements of the NSES The
Earth and Space Science Standards for content at all levels, K-12.
Levels K-4: Properties of earth materials, Objects in
the sky, Changes in earth and sky.
Levels 5-8: Structure of the earth system, Earth's history,
Earth in the solar system.
Levels 9-12: Energy in the earth system, Geochemical cycles,
Origin and evolution of the earth system, Origin and evolution of
the universe. There are prototype learning activity modules
for students to learn how scientists process their thoughts from
data obtained to theory from which to create new hypotheses, and
then plan expeditions to test them and from there, make adjustments
or come up with alternate ideas as results evolve.
Examples of learning modules for teachers (The Life and Times of
a Seamount, Exploring the Inner Planets: A Mathematical