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Nautilus Exploration in STEM Education

The Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) shares the stories, science and excitement of ocean exploration with explorers around the world on Founded by the famed explorer best known for the discovery of RMS Titanic’s final resting place and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, Dr. Robert Ballard, OET explores the ocean seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology and archaeology. In addition to conducting scientific research, we offer our expeditions to explorers on shore via live video, audio, and data feeds from Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus.

We are an international Corps of Exploration of marine scientists, engineers, communicators, educators and students aspiring to serve as role models for the next generation of ocean explorers. OET’s shoreside education programs equip educators to bring hands-on STEM programming into the classroom and highlight STEM career pathways. Our at-sea programs bring educators and students of all ages aboard E/V Nautilus during expeditions, offering them hands-on experience in ocean exploration, research, and communications. On land, members of our team share their Nautilus experiences and continue to explore local lakes, waterways and oceans with their schools and communities.

Citizen scientists and explorers can join the Corps of Exploration by exploring with us live at, using our Education Resources in their classrooms and communities, and learning more about ocean exploration by building and exploring with an OpenROV.

Initiative Sponsors

Open Explorer Initiatives are made possible by a variety of partners, both foundations and companies. If your organization would like to get involved, please email us at

The Ocean Exploration Trust shares the stories, science and excitement of ocean exploration with explorers around the world. For more information, please visit

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In 2017 a group of high school interns from the La Jolla Windansea Surf Club and a graduate student from San Diego State University teamed up to tackle research questions related to the nearshore ecology and bathymetry of Southern California. The traditional marine ecology approach to studying nearshore systems relies heavily on field experiments and manipulations, often times restricting data gathering to those who are scientific-SCUBA certified. Likewise, physical data in the marine environment can be costly to gather and record. At the core of these two disciplines is a desire to understand the marine environment that is both holistic and inclusive. Therefore, OpenROV is the perfect platform; interns will assist with data gathering in a safe yet applicable way without needing formal subtidal experience. Throughout this internship experience the high school team will help draft grant applications, blog posts and outreach statements as well as strengthening their college applications. The use of a remotely operated vehicle is the perfect tool for a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding our coastal oceans, as well as engaging with the general public.

After meeting and now partnering with Kyle Neumann, a PhD student in Marine Science at UCSB, our students are excited to build the OpenROV in Robotics class. We hope to collaborate with UCSB and SB City College to explore more of our local ocean and coastline. This year our school is focusing on ocean health as our theme to go beyond regular classroom studies.

The USC Young Scientist Program (YSP) is hosting a deep sea science workshop at Vermont Elementary on November 15th, 2016 from 2- 5 PM. There will be fifty 4th and 5th grade students from Vermont Elementary. YSP, Ocean Exploration Trust/ Nautilus, Deezmakers and the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (CDEBI) are collaborating to make the event happen. Students will learn how scientists explore the deep sea with underwater robots and tools and see how the deep sea floor is studied. A scientist from onboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus will also be present to talk about discoveries and science occurs when they explore the deep sea floor. The Young Scientists Program works in partnership with five USC community schools, from the greater ‘USC Family of Schools’ to engage more than 1400 elementary school students, 45 LAUSD teachers, and five principals through a broad repertoire of science curriculum. YSP Teaching Assistants, or TAs, are placed at each school presenting hands-on science labs to fourth and fifth grade classrooms. YSP brings scientific laboratory experiences directly to students and their teachers with the goal of supplementing current science instruction, complimenting LAUSD and state grade level science learning standards, strengthening science literacy and promoting interest in scientific careers

Mountain View is the home of innovation. Right in our backyard, we have Google, Khan Academy, LinkedIn, and Synopsys, all encouraging nearby students to think outside the box and pursue their passions early on. It is not surprising then, that Mountain View’s 971 Robotics Team has a total of 70 high school members--a majority being freshmen. Having such a big team is wonderful in many ways. A lot of students interested in Engineering provides endless opportunities to inspire young scholars. Most importantly, it means we have innumerable amounts of great ideas circling around waiting to be discovered by their possessors. However, getting all those ideas out in the open can be difficult for some, especially when they are brand new to the team. In an effort to create a nourishing and connected community for prospective engineers, I hope to bring in an OpenROV kit and present the members with the objective of modifying the robot to help aid underwater exploration. The goal is simple but the reward is timeless.