2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa

Classroom Lessons

Classroom lessons and learning tools relevant to the expedition are listed below by grade level. Although some of these resources may have been developed for past expeditions conducted in other regions of the world ocean, the Focus Questions and Student Learning Objectives are applicable to the current expedition.

Exploring LIVE with the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer (pdf, 169 KB)

Grade Level: 5-12
Focus: How students can become active ocean explorers while viewing live video feeds during Okeanos Explorer expeditions (Physical Science/Earth Science)

Students learn how to access the Ocean Explorer website and access a live video feed of an Okeanos Explorer expedition; explore along with the ocean science community via live feeds during Okeanos Explorer expeditions; and track an expedition using the Okeanos Atlas.

Grades 6-8

Creatures of Change (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Grade Level: 6-8 or 9-12
Focus: Vailulu’u seamount ecosystems (Life Science/Earth Science)

Students will create physical models that illustrate changes in Vailulu’u seamount topography over time, and use these models and other evidence to make inferences about the relationship between physical and biological components of Vailulu’u seamount ecosystems.

Return to the Moat of Death (PDF, 456 KB)

Grade Level: 6-8
Focus: What geological, biological and oceanographic processes have resulted in habitats observed on Vailulu'u Seamount? (Physical Science/Life Science)

Students explain how geological, biological and oceanographic processes are involved with habitats observed on Vailulu'u seamount, and discuss the time and spatial scales over which these processes operate.

To Make an Archipelago! (PDF, 419 KB)

Grade Level: 6-8
Focus: Formation of the Hawaiian Archipelago (Physical Science/Life Science)
From the Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters Off Hawaii Expedition 2015

Students describe eight stages in the formation of islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago and how a combination of hotspot activity and tectonic plate movement could produce the arrangement of seamounts observed in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Students also construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how a combination of hotspot activity and tectonic plate movement could produce the distributions of cobalt-rich ferromanganese resources found in the Hawaiian Archipelago.

A Hydrothermal AdVENTure (PDF, 616 KB)

Grade Level: 5-6
Focus: Hydrothermal vents (Physical Science)
From the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition.

Students will explain the overall structure of hydrothermal vents and how they are related to the motion of tectonic plates, and will create a model of a hydrothermal vent.

Grades 9-12

The Chemosynthetic Café (pdf, 648 KB)

Grade Level: 9-12
Focus: Chemosynthesis in hydrothermal vent ecosystems (Biology/Chemistry)
From the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition.

Students will compare and contrast photosynthesis and chemosynthesis; define oxidation and reduction as these terms apply to electron transfer; and explain the overall process by which energy is captured and transferred during photosynthesis and chemosynthesis.

To further explore the exploration strategy of the Okeanos Explorer and the technologies of bathymetric mapping, water column exploration, and remotely operated vehicle imagery, view the lessons below.

The Tell-Tale Plume (PDF, 837 KB)

Grade Level: 9-12
Focus: Hydrothermal vent chemistry (Chemistry)
From the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition.

Students will describe hydrothermal vents, identify changes that they cause to the physical and chemical properties of seawater, and use oceanographic data to recognize a probable plume from hydrothermal activity.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection

This lesson collection was developed to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer –America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration. The Education Materials Collection is presented in two volumes:

  • Volume 1: Why Do We Explore? (Grades 5-12) - This volume of 16 lessons focuses on modern reasons for ocean exploration, providing background information on key topics of Ocean Exploration including Climate Change, Energy, Human Health, and Ocean Health.
  • Volume 2: How Do We Explore? (Grades 5-12) - This volume of 11 lessons focuses on modern exploration tools used aboard the ship: telepresence, multibeam sonar, water column investigations and underwater robots.