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SIO Explorer

 

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 Earth's surface." 

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 gray" users.

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 ocean.

The digital 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 Journey)

 

 

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