Friday, March 2, 2012

To sea on a NOAA ship

I just found out I'll be spending a few weeks this summer aboard one of NOAA's survey or research ships as part of the Teacher at Sea program! I hope to bring lots of knowledge and wonderful experiences back to my classroom to share with my students.

The isolation of small-town living, coupled with the traditional character of family life on the border, means that most of my students have little notion of the opportunities outside of the Rio Grande Valley. Many have internalized negative stereotypes of Hispanics, immigrants, and border life and thus have developed a limited view of who they are and what they can become. They worry about “fitting in” or “getting in” to “Anglo” opportunities. It is my job to counteract this by pushing my students to get the best from their minds and achieve more than they thought was possible for themselves. 

Making careers in science seem real and attainable to students is a priority in my classroom. These careers often seem very distant to my students because most of them have never known anyone in scientific research or engineering. I have seen over and over again how a strong relationship with a caring, approachable adult can help students expand their world view and make positive life-altering decisions. I can't wait to leverage this experience to create stellar lessons on waves, buoyancy, pressure, and thermodynamics. Most of all, I'm excited about introducing my students to this line of work and showing them that there is a big, beautiful world out there worth protecting and that they too could have an adventure!

NOAA ship "Rainier"

I won't know which ship I'll be sailing on, where I'm going  or even when I'm going until about a month before departure. Maybe the Atlantic? Hawaii? the Arctic? the Gulf? So many possibilities!

No comments:

Post a Comment