Local Teacher to Set Sail on Famed Exploring Ship

Explorer Robert Ballard speaks on stage during the Nova “Nazi Attack on America” panel at the PBS 2015 Winter TCA on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

EASTHAM – A local science teacher will be setting sail aboard the famed explorer Dr. Robert Ballard’s exploration vehicle Nautilus next month.

Nauset Regional Middle School’s Amy Fleisher was selected for the opportunity to serve as a 2017 Lead Science Communication Fellow and will join the Corps of Exploration on an exploratory voyage to the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Fleisher, who will join the corps’ 19 students, one artist, and 24 fellow educators from across North America on a journey that she says is a rare opportunity, and reflects the strength of science education in the commonwealth.

“It’s an incredible honor to represent Massachusetts, the state at the forefront of STEM innovation and education, as well as my home on Outer Cape Cod. Where we are uniquely invested in and committed to ocean exploration and conservation.”

Members of the Corps will work alongside a team of engineers and scientists to stand watch over the ship and participate in live interactions with shore-based audiences via the vessel’s 24-hour web portal NautilusLive.org.

The mission is organized by Dr. Ballard’s non-profit Ocean Exploration Trust which seeks to promote science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) education in schools across the globe.

Allison Fundis, Vice President of Education, Outreach, and Communications for the Ocean Exploration Trust says the program is all about securing a more knowledgeable future, “One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEAM fields.”

Fleisher is preparing to set off in just a few weeks and she couldn’t be more excited, both for herself and her students, “This expedition is particularly exciting for me because it ties in very strongly with our middle school science curriculum: We will be examining the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, searching the seafloor for signs of change in Earth’s surface on large time scales, and devising new techniques for the ROVs to examine paleo-coastlines.”

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