Long Distance Learning & TEMS Virtual Field Trips

On October 4th, 2016, 30 8th grade student took part in a video conference with scientists researching the Chicxulub Crater.  The scientists are currently working in Bremen, Germany as there is a facility there that can house the cores that were drilled from deep below the surface.

The Chicxulub crater, a transient crater,  is from an asteroid impact over 1 million years ago.  When the asteroid hit the crater went 27-28 km into the surface of the Earth then rebounded back to sit about 1 KM below the surface.  4,000 ft cores are taken by a special drilling platform that sits above the surface of the water. The cores are sawed in half so you can see the layers, each layer representing a period of time.  

The facility currently houses 31 scientists from all over the world from numerous different specialty areas.  Including, Japan, Germany, France, Mexico and the  United States.  They had paleontologists looking at fossil records to compare to other fossil records from around the same time, specifically the plankton fossils.  Geochemists who grind parts of the different layers in the core into dust to determine the chemical makeup of the specific rocks.  Geologist looking at specific rock and mineral contents, looking for evidence of volcanic faults.  NASA scientists who helped discover the the crater and are studying its further implications.


You can learn more about the expedition by visiting the expedition page on the JOIDES Resolution website (http://joidesresolution.org/node/4531) and this description written to be more friendly to elementary school-aged students on Kevin Kurtz’s website (http://www.kevkurtz.com/dinosaur-crater-of-doom/ )

To get a behind-the-scenes look at the science and experiences of the expedition, follow these blogs:

o The JOIDES Resolution blog (http://joidesresolution.org/blog)

o The Chicxulub expedition scientists’ blog (https://esoexpedition364chicxulubimpactcrater.wordpress.com)

o Kevin Kurtz’s blog (http://www.kevkurtz.com/blog-archive)

o You can find a list of the blog post topics written while the expedition was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico at the bottom of this page ((http://www.kevkurtz.com/dinosaur-crater-of-doom/ ).

There are two free illustrated eBooks you can use to introduce students (even high school) to what and how we learn through scientific ocean drilling. They both can be downloaded as either PDFs or interactive iPad versions. Both can be downloaded here: (http://joidesresolution.org/node/2998). Their titles are:

o Uncovering Earth's Secrets: Science and Adventure on the JOIDES Resolution
o Where Wild Microbes Grow: The Search for Life Under the Seafloor

 You can download a PDF of the "Blast From the Past" poster, which introduces students to some of the other things we have learned from ocean drilling about the Chicxulub Crater Impact (http://joidesresolution.org/node/3288)

There is also a PDF that shows a core drilled off the coast of Florida with layer of debris from the Chicxulub Crater Impact and breaks down for students how scientists analyze the core to learn what happened because of the impact. (http://joidesresolution.org/sites/default/files/Cretaceous%20Impact.pdf)


Forensics Virtual Field Trip 

TEMS was awarded a grant by the ACES Foundation for eighth graders to participate in a variety of virtual field trips during the 2016-17 school year. 

Forensics by Liberty Science Center in New Jersey on Oct. 6, 2016.

Thirty 8th graders took place an a virtual field trip based on the study of forensics.  Students were chosen by their science teachers based on their interest in the forensics field.  This experience included information on the basics of forensics, the importance of witness testimony, and concluded with students conducting a lab where they extracted DNA from a strawberry.  


AT&T Ballpark: Team Behind the Team

On Friday, November 4th, 20 students participated in a virtual field study with employees of AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco, CA.  The students learned about the various jobs a Major League Baseball employs.  The students had the opportunity to visualize the different departments and services offered at AT&T Ballpark.  It was a great learning opportunity for all students who participated.