CAA Freshman Dive into Deep-sea Exploration

The freshmen of Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) dove right into deep-ocean exploration as their submersibles crept past jellyfish, shipwrecks, tubeworms, vent mussels and spider crabs. They maneuvered through a deep-sea trench where they saw strange-looking organisms.

Their "submersibles" were constructed of cardboard, lots of duct tape, Plexiglas windows, flashlights and a video camera. To make the dive possible, the cardboard boxes were set on steel carts that normally hold folding chairs.

During the simulated dive, students sampled hydrothermal-vent water and deep-sea ocean water and organisms with water samplers and grabbers they made.

Each team included a scientist, a pilot and an engineer. The scientist was responsible for knowing what the organisms looked like that they would encounter throughout the dive and what their team had to pick up. The pilot was responsible for picking up samples that were then placed in the container on the front of the submersible. The engineers had to push their teammates around the gym, while navigating the course with a compass.

Holly Hack, one team's engineer, commented, " At times it was confusing because the compass would freak out, and maneuvering was difficult through the trench."

The students had a great time doing this project that took up the third quarter of their science class. This amazing experiment was organized by Tom Lee, who first created a dive experience with the students who are now seniors at CAA. Lee devoted many hours to making this dive a wonderful learning experience filled with fun.

"It was a hands-on experience," Mike Morauske said. "We got to put into practice what we learned."

Many other students also enjoyed this unforgettable learning method. "It was good team-working skills—way cool!" said Nickele Prahl.

August 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference