National Science Foundation
Extreme 2003
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"Extreme" scientists conducting research on board the Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Alvin communicate live with student audiences through conference calls.

Permission Granted
State: Delaware

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Ocean Science provided funding for outreach programs, called EXTREME 2000 and EXTREME 2001 and EXTREME 2002, that involved middle and high school students in oceanographic research cruises. Cary and University of Delaware staff developed curricula for middle and high school students that were organized around Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) ALVIN dives in the Guaymas Basin (October 2000) and the East Pacific Ridge at 9° North (October 2001 and October 2002). Students followed the activities and adventures of the scientists and crew for about a week during the cruises and DSV ALVIN dives. Curriculum materials developed include color printed educational guides for students, curriculum guides for teachers, a video produced by WHYY public TV describing the cruise activities, an award-winning Website ( (2002) and (2003)), and evaluation methods. A number of schools were able to participate directly via a conference call from the classrooms to DSV ALVIN while it was on the seafloor. The conference calls had to be limited to 10 schools per day and required that DSV ALVIN remain stationary on the seafloor for about 1.5 hours during the call.

Interest in the program has grown tremendously each year. In 2000, approximately 10 classes participated in the conference call, about 40 schools requested the curriculum materials and the Website received exceptional media attention that led to radio and TV interviews of Cary. In 2001, 40 schools participated in the conference call, over 130 schools requested the curriculum materials and the Website received numerous Web-related awards. In 2002, Cary anticipated interest from about 200 schools (both United States and international), but by the time the registration period was closed over 500 schools had signed on for the program. The program eventually reached over 42,000 students in 2002.

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