Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jason Argonauts prepare for sea

Two Spring Branch ISD ninth-graders will join four other “Argonauts” from Oct. 17-21 as the students explore the Caribbean Sea during a research trip aboard the Exploration Vessel (EV) Nautilus, led by oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard.

Selected earlier this year as 2013 National JASON Argonaut team members are two high school freshmen, Chase Gonsoulin of Northbrook High School and Paloma June of Westchester Academy for International Studies. (Read announcement press release here.)

Paloma June of Westchester Academy for International Studies (Photo Center)
Jason Learning’s National Argonaut program provides hands-on activities aboard the Nautilus research ship with scientists, oceanographers and engineers involving geology, biology, archaeology and chemistry. 

At sea, students will learn basics of navigation and oceanographic sampling techniques. Since 1990, the Jason program has provided research and learning opportunities to more than 460 students and educators. They join the ship’s Corps of Exploration.

The adventures of Chase Gonsoulin, Paloma June and other student Argonauts can be followed on the Jason Facebook page from Oct. 17-21 as they visit Puerto Rico, Antigua and travel on the Nautilus.

They will sail from Puerto Rico to Antigua. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, a live event will be broadcast at http://www.jason.org/live.  They can be viewed in a public broadcast from the SBISD Board of Trustees Board Meeting Room, 955 Campbell Road. Visitors for the public viewing should use the south entrance doors to access the Board Meeting Room.

This year’s trip will be the second Jason research experience for SBISD students and teachers in as many years.

The 2013 Nautilus expedition season has included eight cruise segments that began in the Gulf of Mexico studying the undersea environment after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, as well as mapping hydrocarbons and studying a shipwreck.

Chase Gonsoulin of Spring Woods Middle School (Photo Right)
Caribbean Sea research this month will focus on the impact of volcanic eruptions on the sea floor, underwater tar seeps fed upon by local bacteria, and examination of earthquake faults that are the possible sources of tsunamis in 1867 and 1918. Dr. Ballard, who is widely known for locating the wreck of the Titanic, founded Jason Learning.

The program now reaches 1.5 million students annually, and provides both multimedia curriculum and experiences in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for students in kindergarten through 12th-grade. In separate but related news, the Jason Project earlier this year selected district Instructional Specialist Ro Luecken and Northbrook Middle School instructor Sheena Guevara as program lead trainers.

They attended a four-day training at George Washington University’s Virginia campus to help prepare them for the advanced training role. Jason Learning is a nonprofit organization operated in association with National Geographic Society and managed by the Sea Research Foundation.

For details, please visit www.jason.org.


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