While most of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) efforts center on classroom programs, many lack hands-on activities that allow students to experience phenomenon-based learning and produce a complex scientific project. To meet this need, we developed week-long STEM summer day camps (ssrovcamp.org) for two age groups: rising 3rd-5th and 6-9th graders. Campers learn about seafloor exploration through multiple hands-on, technology-rooted, team-based activities. At the end of the week, campers design and present research missions for an actual seafloor feature, incorporating hypotheses, methods, and operations.Current: The Journal of Marine Education, is a journal produced by NMEA, the National Marine Educators Association.
Much of the C-DEBI (Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations) research is conducted in the field, where transformative discoveries result from either sampling new environments at and below the seafloor or making new measurements with sensors adapted to this extreme environment. Both types of advancement require technical STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics) capabilities; one to get samplers and sensors to the new environment, and the other to design, fabricate, and test novel approaches for solving vexing questions. Such research requires a community capable of innovative technologies to gather samples, sense environmental conditions, and drive ongoing scientific inquiry. However, the U.S. educational system has not kept pace with these and other societal demands for STEM-trained personnel (National Research Council 2010 and 2012), and this deficit could, potentially, stunt the growth, continuity and quality of these types of research programs.