By Jones, Krista
Technology and Children , Vol. 10, No. 2
"The sea is the be-all and end-all. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense wilderness, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides."
Although the imagination of Verne and his "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" gave us a prophetic glimpse into the future, it cannot compare to today's amazing technologies in use for ocean exploration. Dive into the activities below to discover how technology enables us to navigate through this aquatic realm of inner space.
* Read or watch the story, "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" by Jules Verne. Research and make a chart of the technology used on Verne's Nautilus and on modern-day subs. Create a Venn Diagram comparing the two. http://home.att. net/~karen.crisafulli/nautilus. html (Nautilus details) http:// inventors.about.com/library/ inventors/blsubmarine3.htm (evolution of submarine designs)
* Discuss how fiction sometimes becomes fact. Brainstorm popular science fiction ideas from TV or movies. Have students write about one of the ideas turning factual. Do we currently have the technology to make it happen? What would need to be invented to make it work? Speculate how this new technology would impact us personally and globally.
* Learn about underwater communication methods, www. oceantechnologysystems.com/ education.shtml
* Draw timeline posters illustrating the development of ocean exploration methods and technologies and how they have shaped our culture, www. seasky.org/oceanxplsea5a3. html (ocean exploration timeline information)
* Compare maritime units to common land-measurement units. Try measuring distances on a map using leagues (three miles) or fathoms. How fast is a knot? Convert car speed to knots! www.usmm.net/terms/html (maritime definitions and unit values)
* Learn about measuring with sound-sonar/ultrasound/radar www.dosits.org/science/ssea/ la.htm
* Research and graph the depths at which different types of creatures and technology can travel.
* Your students are probably familiar with the concept of a space station, but what about a deep-sea station? Underwater habitats have already been built and tested, and new designs are underway! Find out more at: www.oceantechnology.org./ oasis.htm
* Take a virtual tour of Ocean Base One--www.oceantechnology. org/GalleryVirtualTour. htm and research the history of underwater habitats--www.onr. navy.mil/focus/blowballast/ people/habitats2.htm. Then have your students design and construct a class sea station out of consumable materials, Students can produce video presentations explaining their station components. …