Filmmaker (Titanic, Avatar, Terminator) and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron has become the first person to complete a solo journey to Challenger Deep, the terminus of the Mariana Trench, and the deepest known point on planet Earth at nearly 7 miles below sea level.
Although it’s more like 2 leagues than 20,000, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE mission has the potential to bring mysteries of deep-ocean worlds to light for scientists, students, and dreamers alike. This incredible moment in the history of modern exploration is being reported by major news organizations around the world today (see stories on the New York Times and CNN), and the National Geographic Education team could not be more excited to share in the fervor.
As the educational outreach arm of the National Geographic Society, the organization sponsoring DEEPSEA CHALLENGE along with Rolex, we have developed a complete suite of materials to help teachers bring this scientific expedition to conduct deep-ocean research into their classrooms. Here is a quick overview of the Nat Geo Education materials available.
The main DEEPSEA CHALLENGE education hub features maps, multimedia, reference materials, and more. Below is a list of five favorite resources:
Learn about important milestones in underwater exploration, including the sinking of the Titanic and the inventions of Jacques Cousteau, through photos, illustrations, and maps.
- Marine Ecosystem Illustrations
- Mariana Maps
- Exploring the Edge of Existence (Video)
Another National Geographic
Explorer-in-Residence, Robert Ballard, discovered deep-sea hydrothermal
vents and the Titanic shipwreck. In this short 4-minute video he
describes how modern-day exploration is rewriting textbooks and advancing
our knowledge about the world.
of the most fascinating aspects of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition is
no doubt the incredible engineering behind the design of the submarine.
Inspire budding engineers with a comprehensive collection of articles,
videos, and more.
Nat Geo Education Blog
We’ve been covering
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE here on the blog since early March. Peruse our
archives for posts spanning science, conservation, media literacy, and
more. Here are five of our favorites.
- Blogger Bios
We’ve enlisted four bloggers to help bring the action into your
classroom: a high-school biology teacher, a geologist/engineer, a photojournalist, and an anthropologist. Read their bios in
the column at right, as well as the introductory posts from Lori
Roberts, Doug Levin, Shannon Switzer, and Jane Fajans.
Will it sink? Will it float? And what the heck is a drogue?! Test basic
underwater physics with this easy experiment you can conduct at home or
in the classroom.
In this classroom activity incorporating biology and media literacy,
students watch the James Cameron film Avatar and then work in groups to
create their own real-world ecosystems.
A trip to Uganda helped Shannon Switzer reconnect with the ocean in her
native California. Here, she suggests activities to explore your own
ocean connections–whether you live in Hawaii or Kansas.
National Geographic Society Coverage
Visit the official DEEPSEA CHALLENGE website from our parent
organization, the National Geographic Society, for even more resources
including news articles and blog posts from the Expedition Journal.
Please use these resources to dive into DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. Share your
thoughts and reactions about the expedition itself, the educational
materials, and the blog-a-thon–we’d love to hear your feedback and learn
together. While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever experience anything quite
like this again, we hope to continue to provide you with the
highest-quality resources for bringing cutting-edge science and
exploration into your classroom.
Congratulations once again to James Cameron and the entire DEEPSEA
CHALLENGE team from your friends at National Geographic Education!
–The National Geographic Education team