Around & About + Chadwick School Chair in Innovation and Design Selected for Ocean Exploration

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The Chadwick School’s chair of innovation and design has been selected to explore the ocean aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus. Dr. Dijanna Figueroa will join the Expedition Team in a groundbreaking STEAM initiative exploring deep-sea biology and geology in the Central Pacific. She has been selected as the 2022 Science Communication Fellow and will sail aboard Ocean Exploration Trust’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus for 23 days in March and April. Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, has a mission to explore unknown parts of the ocean, to seek new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology and of hydrography while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation. Dr. Figueroa is one of twelve 2022 fellows from schools, science centers, and nonprofit organizations in seven U.S. states. They will join the Corps of Exploration in teams on various sea expeditions from March to October near the Hawaiian Islands, in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

“Bringing the science, technology, engineering, math, and excitement of ocean exploration to my students in real time is a dream come true,” said Dr. Figueroa. Dr. Figueroa will zoom in on his classes under the sea as much as the schedule allows. She will act as an underwater teacher from a distance while a land teacher will engage directly in the classroom. She already zoomed in with Chadwick Kindergarten children from Hawaii last week to explain the expedition, and will zoom in from the submarine to improve their ocean unit during scheduled science time.

Students in Chadwick’s marine biology class are working on a research project on different ocean ecosystems, and she will be engaging with juniors and seniors via Zoom over the next two weeks. The public can also engage with Dr. Figueroa through Nautilus Live, a 24-hour live streaming web portal offering expeditions from the field to explorers ashore via telepresence technology at www.NautilusLive.org and through social media. Dr. Figueroa will participate in live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions via the Nautilus Live website aboard the ship. She will also participate in events and activities upon her return. Local schools can also schedule free one-on-one live Q&A sessions with explorers on the ship in English or Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).

OET promotes science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education worldwide using the excitement of exploration and innovation to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. “A primary goal of our Nautilus exploration program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in the STEAM fields,” said Allison Fundis, Chief Operating Officer of OET.

“We are excited to provide educators and students with first-hand experience of ocean exploration while allowing them to share that experience with their peers around the world.”

According to Megan Cook, Director of Education and Outreach at OET, “Science Communication Fellows work alongside scientists and engineers and help bring the experience of ocean exploration to life through the stream. live NautilusLive, our social media and outreach directly with classrooms. PEN
The public can also engage with Dr. Figueroa through Nautilus Live, a 24-hour live streaming web portal offering expeditions from the field to explorers ashore via telepresence technology at www.NautilusLive.org. Dr. Figueroa will participate in live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions via the Nautilus Live website aboard the ship. PEN

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