A state-of-the-art mobile science lab visited IUP in early November 2012 and served as the meeting place for teachers and students from Commonwealth Connections, a Pennsylvania cyber school. Using activities developed by the Deep Earth Academy (DEA), the educational program affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, students modeled scientific discovery and explored ocean sediment cores with Geoscience professors Steve Hovan and Jon Lewis and DEA’s Jennifer Collins.
This program was a great opportunity to learn about geology, biology, and climate change using sediment cores and data collected by deep sea drilling. The collaboration grew from the network of teachers and educators that attended shipboard experiences aboard the U.S. drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution when both Hovan and Lewis served as instructors for their School of Rock program.
“The Deep Earth Academy does an amazing job with giving students the experience of real scientific discovery,” said Hovan, “and we’re hoping to make this an annual visit.”
Commonwealth Connections Academy offers a cyber school program to students across Pennsylvania with this mobile classroom, a full-sized, 38-foot vehicle equipped with a satellite Internet capability, wireless Internet access, computers, digital media, interactive smartboards, microscopes, and all the equipment needed to conduct science labs and many other classroom activities.