Oceanography – Submarine Rescue!

Oceanography – Submarine Rescue!

After building and testing, refining and re-testing all week long, our Ocean Engineers were ready to put their submarines to work rescuing stranded sea creatures at the ocean floor. Depending on the needs of the stranded sea creature, campers adjusted their designs, for each rescue attempt!

Ask your camper: How did the mass of the stranded sea creature affect your submarine’s operation? (the additional mass may have impacted the submarine’s ability to fully surface)

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A Model Jellyfish – Oceanography

A Model Jellyfish – Oceanography

Jellyfish are beautiful and mysterious ocean creatures! They have no bones, no brain, no heart, and no eyes! They have clear, bag-like bodies that contain their digestive organs and have trailing tentacles that are used to sting and capture prey. About 50% of all jellyfish are bioluminescent! Our biological modeling engineers created bioluminescent jellyfish models (to bring home) and that actually glow in the dark!! They were challenged to make their models anatomically correct, but to use their own creativity along the way!

Ask you camper: Why do jellyfish use bioluminescence? (as a defense mechanism to evade predation)

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Oceanography’s Blubber Gloves

Oceanography’s Blubber Gloves

Blubber is an adaptation that marine mammals have to survive the frigid ocean temperatures. The young marine scientists used conducted an experiment today to create the most effective blubber possible! Upon first testing the temperature of the water, students found they could hardly hold their fingers in the ice water without protection more than their two layered rubber gloves. The marine scientists then were able to use materials like vegetable shortening, petroleum jelly, and cotton balls inside their “blubber gloves” to model actual blubber.

Ask your student: What was the dependent variable in the experiment today? (amount of time your hand was submerged in the water) What was the independent variable? (the material used to create the “blubber”)

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Sea Glasses in Oceanography Day 2

Sea Glasses in Oceanography Day 2

Some of the most fascinating of sea creatures live in the deep ocean – deeper than rays of light can penetrate. Over generations, these sea creatures have changed colors to help them survive in the deepest parts of the ocean. Today the “under-the-sea interns” examined how light travels beneath the waves and how it affects the living organisms and their survival. The campers created specialty “sea glasses” that allow you to visualise how much light reaches the various depths of the ocean by layering blue cellophane. Using their sea glasses, the campers tested different color fabrics and images of marine life so they could see how visible the sea creatures are at different depths of the ocean.

Ask your student: How does the coloration of the animal help it to survive at different depths of the ocean?

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A Bright Start to Oceanography!

A Bright Start to Oceanography!

Many organisms use “living light”, or bioluminescence, to communicate – a common occurrence in ocean organisms! Bioluminescence is the production of light by a living creature. Our student researchers learned how to subculture a declining population of ocean algae called dinoflagellates! These “dinos” show bioluminescence when exposed to a disturbance (such as waves in the ocean, or simply by swirling their bottled culture). The campers will monitor their cultures all week and then get to take them home (care instructions provided)!!

Ask your camper:  Why do the dinos need a light/dark cycle? (to mimic the natural light/dark cycle which allows them to ‘recharge’ during the light period so they can bioluminesce during the dark period).

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Oceanography

Oceanography

What does it take to be a marine scientist? Become an ocean explorer with us during our brand new ocean-themed STEM experience! Students will follow the engineering design cycle as they design, build, submerge, and test their own submarine. They will also learn the science behind (and model) fascinating ocean-phenomena like bioluminescence, perform dissections of marine creatures (including a squid), and study the ocean’s micro-organisms. If you’re ready – dive in!