Bringing Live Ocean Exploration to Out-of-Classroom Learners: Mark Andrews, Exploratorium • Rob Rothfarb, Exploratorium
Using bandwidth and infrastructure support from CENIC, the Exploratorium designed and developed educational programming that allowed museum visitors and a worldwide web audience to experience a pair of deep-sea ocean exploration missions as they were unfolding in real-time.

Two of the world's most technologically advanced exploration vessels, the Okeanos Explorer (NOAA) and the E/V Nautilus (under the direction of ocean explorer Dr. Robert Ballard), use remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), telepresence technology, and Internet-2, to deliver live images of previously unexplored parts of the ocean to scientists at Exploration Command Centers across the country. Live video and audio transmitted via satellite from both ships is multicast by the Inner Space Center (ISC) at the University of Rhode Island to the advanced research and education network and received at the Exploratorium in San Francisco via CalREN. We partnered with NOAA and the Inner Space Center to expand their telepresence reach to visitors at the Exploratorium and to the public at large, creating out-of-classroom learning opportunities for people of all ages. In the summer of 2010, the Exploratorium collaborated with NOAA to connect with the Okeanos Explorer during its maiden voyage in the western Pacific. We produced a series of live webcasts that connected crew members aboard the ship, scientists at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, and a live audience at the Exploratorium, for educational programs about deep-sea exploration and the scientific discoveries being made by the Okeanos Explorer. In the summer and fall of 2011, we utilized our connection to CalREN to create two educational programs in collaboration with the E/V Nautilus during its mission in the Mediterranean and Black Seas: a live webcast series and a multimedia museum exhibit. The webcast series featured conversations with Dr. Robert Ballard and other scientists aboard the E/V Nautilus where they discussed their latest geologic and archaeologic discoveries including deep sea vents and volcanoes.

At the Exploratorium, we created a multimedia installation that delivered live video from the E/V Nautilus. The result was an installation that allowed visitors to virtually look over the shoulders of scientists, to listen in on their conversations, and to observe real research as it happened in real time.

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