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NGI News

MSU’s Northern Gulf Institute Partner with NOAA, USM, MTS, to Teach Students Marine Science

August 29, 2019

Stennis Space Center’s Take your Child to Work Day, “MissionHoopossible.”
Photo submitted by NASA’s NCEI and NASA OER
On July 18, 2019, roughly 200 children between the ages of nine and 14 participated in "Misson Hoopossible" at Stennis Space Center where they learned about how scientists use Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to study the ocean. Northern Gulf Institute hosted this activity in conjunction with Mississippi State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Gulf regional chapter of the Marine Technology Society.

The annual Stennis Space Center's Take Your Children to Work Day presents an opportunity to educate students about Marine Science.

Students participated in four rotations of the Science Technology, Engineering and Math based activity "Mission Hoopossible." The children learned about and focused on the basics of remotely operated vehicles and the ROV's application in the field of marine science. This activity specifically focused on the deep ocean exploration of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, but ROV technology is applied in many industries.

NGI scientist Madalyn Newman spearheaded the activity and introduced the participants to NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research, to the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, and to the Okeanos' ROV Deep Discoverer. The children watched several Okeanos highlight video clips, discussed different career opportunities, and asked plenty of questions. Newman even created a word search with ROV related definitions and a cartoon ROV diagram.

The students then participated in the ROV challenge which consisted of having them break into four small teams to operate two SeaPerch ROVs in a swimming pool. Each child took a turn navigating the ROV through two hoops in a 10-minute-relay-race. One of the groups finished in> about six minutes.

The activity supports STEM learning, demonstrates the importance of having different skill sets to successfully complete a mission, and provides insight into some of the challenges scientists can face in a harsh ocean environment.

For more information, please contact Madalyn Newman, Kristen Larson or Angela Sallis.