PCS Teacher Takes to the Sea on the Celebrated E/V Nautilus

Cuffee STEM Specialist Stacy Gale (center) aboard the E/V Nautilus with (l to r) fellow Educator at Sea Hannah Prior, head of the Ocean Exploration Trust Dr. Robert Ballard, ship’s Captain Pavel Chubar, and Chief Scientist Dr. Katy Croff Bell.

Participating in the Nautilus Exploration Program as an Educator at Sea for ten days was truly the experience of a lifetime. Led by URI oceanography professor Dr. Robert Ballard, one of the greatest explorers of our time, and renowned oceanographer Dr. Katy Croff Bell, the Nautilus Exploration Program is a unique blend of cutting-edge science and technology, fused with many different educational opportunities.

As an Educator at Sea, I became a member of the Corps of Exploration, which included scientists, video engineers, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilots, navigators, educators, and students. The Corps of Exploration explores the deep sea, most of which has never been explored before. Using ROVs equipped with high-tech video equipment, the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus is able to stream live video over the Internet so that the public is able to explore along with us.

Stacy Gale prepares to Skype with Paul Cuffee 4th and 5th graders on career opportunities in STEM fields.

My job included communicating with the public about the science and engineering concepts we were using. I conducted several live interactions with various museums around the world, including the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, telling them about our expedition and answering questions. While on watch my job was to monitor the questions that the public posted on the http://www.nautiluslive.org website and direct them to the Corps scientists and other members.

My hope is that by bringing the excitement from this experience back to Paul Cuffee School, I’ll be able to inspire some of our students to consider going into a related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field. Perhaps some of them will even be able to participate in a Nautilus expedition in the future!

STEM specialist Stacy Gale checks data gathered by ROV Hercules, used to explore the depths of the Cayman Rise.

Article written by Stacy Gale, Paul Cuffee School STEM Specialist


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
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Female Employees: 75%
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