Washington, D.C. – For the second consecutive year, Deep Earth Academy, the education division of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), was selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to present to the recipients of the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). These awards are the highest honors bestowed on teachers of mathematics and science in the U.S.
Deep Earth Academy staff joined forces with former “School of Rock” participants to introduce 85 teachers to scientific ocean drilling and related curricular materials during a 90-minute presentation. The event was held at NSF on May 18.
“We were thrilled to be able to participate in this event again. It’s a wonderful way to share the important role the scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution plays in Earth science research and to show talented teachers how scientific ocean drilling can provide a dynamic introduction to teaching science, technology, engineering and math,” said Leslie Peart, Director of Deep Earth Academy.
The highlight of the session was a live ship-to-shore broadcast with several members of the science party currently sailing on the JOIDES Resolution as part of IODP Expedition 335, Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4. Co-chief scientist Benoît Ildefonse (CNRS-Université Montpellier II) gave the teachers a virtual tour of the research vessel labs and, with colleagues Doug Wilson (University of California, Santa Barbara), Jeff Alt (University of Michigan), Jessica Till (University of Minnesota), and Jeremy Deans (Texas Tech University), answered questions from the teachers about the geology, engineering, and planning aspects of the expedition.
“All of the scientists involved enjoyed the event and found it a rewarding experience,” remarked co-chief scientist Damon Teagle (National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton). “An event like this demonstrates the invaluable contribution that scientific ocean drilling can make to education and outreach efforts – helping the earth sciences to come alive for audiences of all ages.”
The awardees were given samples of Deep Earth Academy’s teaching materials and encouraged to engage in scientific ocean drilling outreach activities in the future.
“We hope they are inspired to join future expeditions on the JOIDES Resolution as Education Officers or as School of Rock participants!” said Jennifer Collins, Deep Earth Academy’s Teacher and School Program Specialist.
The PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process conducted at the state level. Each year the award alternates between kindergarten through 6th grade teachers and 7th through 12th grade teachers. The 2010 awardees teach kindergarten through 6th grade. Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the NSF to be used at their discretion. The NSF administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. To learn more about the PAEMST program, visit http://www.paemst.org/.