Why is the Ocean Salty?

SCIENCE . . and why did it take us so long to find out? Nat Geo Explorer Robert Ballard explains. (Nat Geo News) Build your own ocean with our fun matching game! Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit—and a round-up of other interesting reads this week. Note: Current Event Connections is slowing down for the summer. Our … Continue reading Why is the Ocean Salty?

Titanic 100th Anniversary

27297.jpgThis past weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. The R.M.S. Titanic was a British luxury ocean liner that sank in the North Atlantic after sideswiping an iceberg on its maiden voyage in April of 1912. In preparation for this tragic event, National Geographic Education has developed a collection of materials to help you teach about the Titanic in your classroom.

27606.jpgOcean Exploration Timeline– Use the Ocean Exploration Timeline to see how both the sinking and discovery of the Titanic relate to and influence important events, discoveries and inventions in the history of underwater exploration.

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Why Explore the Unknown?

Lori Roberts is a high school biology teacher in Muscle
Shoals, Alabama. Lori is a leader in ocean education and is a graduate
of National Geographic Education’s two-year professional development
program, the National Teacher Leadership Academy.

Students are interested in exploration of the unknown, however, most of my students know very little about ocean exploration or the explorers involved in these expeditions.  I wanted to understand their perception of ocean exploration, so I placed them into small groups and asked them to brainstorm reasons why we should explore the deep trenches of the seafloor, such as the Mariana Trench. I received a variety of responses:

  • To find new species
  • Make a new discovery
  • New discoveries lead to new inventions
  • It will improve our understanding of Earth
  • It’s cool to be the first one to go where no one else has been before (Kids enjoy competition in and out of school.  Competition encourages them to be their best.)

Many are calling the Mariana Trench the last frontier. In 1960, Don Walsh became the first American to descend almost 36,000′. Don Walsh, a U.S. Navy Captain, was only 28 at the time. Walsh, now 80, was invited by James Cameron to hang out with the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition team. He was a witness on the adventure.

30720.jpgFilmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron is
congratulated by ocean explorer and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh, right,
after completing the first ever solo dive 35,756 feet down to the
“Challenger Deep,” the lowest part of the Mariana Trench. Walsh took the
same journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 52 years ago in the
Trieste, with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard. Cameron’s
dive in his specially designed submersible was part of DEEPSEA
CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National
Geographic Society, and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research. Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic.

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