Join the cBATS!
Join the cBATS and dive into the exciting world of open-ocean and deep-sea exploration!
cBATS are middle school and secondary educators and students participating in inquiry-based open-ocean and deep-sea research through the BATS and Classroom BATS projects (cBATS are not to be confused with sea bats, pelagic octopi that swim through the water using their webbed tentacles!) cBATS participate in Classroom BATS through a variety of hands-on and distance-learning opportunities provided by the scientists and distance educators involved in BATS and Classroom BATS.
You can participate in Classroom BATS in a variety of ways. You can download the OceanExplorer workbook to help plot and explore the BATS oceanographic data, create and submit a cBATS lesson plan based on analysis of BATS oceanographic data, "adopt" a web link on the Classroom BATS web site, enroll in on-line training courses via The College of Exploration's Virtual Campus, and experience the power of deep-sea pressure through our "Crush a Cup!" project. In the future, we plan to provide additional learning opportunities, including the chance to use the technology of telepresence to examine a plankton sample by controlling a video microscope, compete against other science classrooms in the BATS Bowl, and even to sail on a BATS cruise. Details of these activities and opportunities are explained in the following sections.
The cBATS OceanExplorer Excel© workbook provides a user-friendly and powerful software tool for visualizing and analyzing the oceanographic data collected by BATS scientists and technicians. OceanExplorer contains four default worksheets: BATSData and HydroStation S provide ready access to years of oceanographic data from the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series and HydroStation S programs, and the tools you need to filter the data, extract it, and plot time series and depth profiles of the data parameters of interest. The DepthProfiler and TimeSeries worksheets allow you to test your students' preconceptions and post-lesson knowledge of ocean structure and behavior.
To download OceanExplorer, simply click the download button on theOceanExplorer web page. Help on using OceanExplorer is available within the program, and via Excel's built-in help menus.
Once you have downloaded and become familiar with OceanExplorer, we encourage you to submit lesson plans based on its use. Our on-line LessonPlanner provides a template that allows you to easily format your lesson plan to meet recommended guidelines, with entry fields for grade level, objectives, concepts, procedures/activities, materials, assignments, and evaluation. LessonPlanner also features a drop-down list that helps you link your lesson plan to the National Science Education Content standards. Once you have entered (or copied) your lesson plan into LessonPlanner, clicking the "Submit" button automatically sends your completed lesson plan to us. After editing for content accuracy, grade-level appropriateness, and pedagogical merit, the cBATS design team will link selected lesson plans to the cBATS web site. Lesson plan author(s) will be acknowledged by a byline at the top of each featured lesson plan. For more information about how to submit a cBATS lesson plan, and to assure that your lesson-plan idea is not already being developed by another educator, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviewing current cBATS lesson plans will also prove instructive to your efforts.
Sprinkled throughout the Classroom BATS web site are underlined terms that provide rich opportunities for creating hyperlinks to more detailed explorations of the concepts or history underlying the term. You or your students can help us enrich the Classroom BATS web site by creating multimedia resources for these linkable terms (or other terms of your own choosing), then submitting your materials to the Classroom BATS design team. For example, the Oceanography page of the cBATS web site features an underlined reference to William Beebe, an early ocean explorer whose dives in a bathysphere helped set the stage for subsequent deep-sea research. You and/or your students could create multimedia resources (text, graphics, and/or video) based on research into Beebe's life and work, then submit these materials to us via e-mail or the web. After editing for content accuracy and grade-level appropriateness by content experts at BBSR, the cBATS design team will link these materials to the cBATS web site. Author(s) will be acknowledged by a byline at the top of the linked web page, providing attribution for authentic assessment. For more information about how to adopt a link, and to assure that your chosen link is not already being worked on by another group, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
The College of Exploration's Virtual Campus provides access to a wealth of distance learning tools and courses that can help maximize your participation in the Classroom BATS project. Monitor the Virtual Campus web site for updates on future courses, or sign-up to be notified of upcoming courses automatically by e-mail. Depending on your input, we plan to offer distance-learning courses on topics such as open-ocean and deep-sea biology, physical and chemical oceanography; global climate change; the causes and impacts of El Niño, the science and politics of natural hazards (hurricanes and earthquakes), and the geology of mid-ocean islands.
Have you been feeling under pressure at work lately? Consider yourself lucky! Compared to deep-sea creatures and the submersible vehicles that study them, the pressure on you is probably pretty light. Pressure in the sea increases at a rate of 1 atmosphere for every 10 meters of water depth. Thus a fish that lives in 500 meters of water has to withstand the weight of 50 atmospheres on each square inch of its body surface. That's enough pressure to crush a steel can! You can help your students appreciate the deep sea's bone-crushing pressure by participating in the cBATS "Crush a Cup" project. To take part, first fill out our on-line form (see notice below). Once we have processed and acknowledged your submission, you will be asked to send a stack of polystyrene cups (maximum of 40) and a return mailing label inside a standard mailing tube. PROGRAM ON HOLD
Until we can procure new funding!
To receive an e-mail when the program starts up again, please fill out our on-line form. CTD, which will carry them several thousand meters beneath the surface of the Sargasso Sea, where the pressure will drive out the gas from the foam, shrinking the cups to a fraction of their original size. Your students can personalize their cups by using an indelible marker to write their name and draw a picture of a deep-sea creature on their cup's surface before the cups are mailed. Please note that cups drawn on with anything other than an indelible marker will not be submerged or returned. Marks made with water-soluble inks will simply wash off, leaving a blank cup and raising the possibility of contaminating our samples.
To help defray expenses, we require that you place US$25 for return postage and handling within the mailing tube. If you also send an e-mail list of your students' names firstname.lastname@example.org, we will return the cups along with a personalized "Deep-Sea Explorer" certificate for each student. Get a crush on the deep sea! Enroll in "Crush a Cup" today!
In this science contest, participating classrooms will compete each month during the school year to determine which can most accurately predict the measured value of a chosen BATS data parameter from a pre-announced depth. For instance, in November participating classrooms would be notified that they must predict, say, the oxygen concentration of ocean water taken from 500 m at the BATS site during December. In December they might have to predict the sea surface temperature at the BATS site during January. Each prediction must be accompanied by a 1-paragraph explanation of how the prediction was made. Each classroom will gain points based on how accurately they predict that month's chosen data value, with the overall winners at the end of the school year recognized on the Classroom BATS web site. The BATS Bowl provides a fun and challenging way to encourage your students' interest in oceanography, motivate their mastery ofOceanExplorer, and increase their understanding of the physical mechanisms that control ocean behavior. For information on how to enroll in the BATS Bowl, send an e-mail to email@example.com.