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Where to Start: Preparing to be an Educator On-Board

Pre-Cruise Preparation


My countdown is 13 days before I start my drive to Woods Holes Oceanographic Institute, WHOI, I find myself feeling challenged, but excited.  Where do I start? Have you ever felt pulled in so many directions you don’t know what to do first? Well, that is where I am right now. I have piles in various locations of my house that need to be packed, lessons to develop for my high school students whom I will not see for 14 school days, and I haven’t decided what I will be livestreaming to my students while at sea. I have quite a bit of work to do, but I WILL get it done, I always do.

Picture collage of clothes, student projects, and gear for the PUFINS expedition.


During our pre-cruise training we have been supplied with a packing list and time to ask questions to experienced researchers. The team has been extremely helpful with suggestions of what has been beneficial for them. We are going to be at sea coring for ocean sediment so I am trading my typical school professional wear for jeans, sweat pants, hoodies, and t-shirts, with the intention of getting all of them dirty. I bought steel toe waterproof boots, so I can be on deck when equipment is being operated, and a pair of rain coveralls to try and keep myself from getting too messy and wet. Now to do some final washing and get the gear into a bag or two. Duffle bags have been suggested over suitcases so they can be stored more easily in a cabinet or drawer on ship. 


One of the bags that will be used for Mrs. Sharpe’s gear.

As an active teacher at Cedar Creek High School I will be missing several end of year activities I would usually be a part of. This makes me a little sad. However, I am very excited and looking forward to this upcoming experience. While I am at sea my students will be watching pre-recorded lessons based on the topic of his or her class. I am just about done making the questions students are to answer with those recordings! In addition to videos, I am grateful that, as an educator onboard. I will have the opportunity to live stream with each of my classes, and those of my colleagues, while on the expedition. I have asked my students what they would want to know more about, and as you can see from the Jamboard screen below the answers vary. As of this post, I am not sure what will make its way to my livestream with my students, but I’m sure it will be new and exciting for myself and students participating online with me.  Check out our social media @rutgerspufins, @teachsharpe, on Instagram, and other posts on the website for information on how you can interact with one of the educators onboard. 

Digital sticky notes created by one of my classes so I can decide what to livestream about.