Sue Zupko (TAS, 2011 and 2014) and Her Students Host a Seven Seas Celebration

A trip aboard NOAA Ship Pisces to study Deep-Water Coral opened a whole new world for Sue Zupko (TAS 2011 and 2014). She shared this “deep-sea world” with her students and their interest led to a Seven Seas Celebration at Weatherly Heights Elementary School in Huntsville, Alabama on April 17, 2015. Teachers and volunteers at this community event offered hands-on math and science activities focused on ocean topics. 
Lieutenant (LT) Jonathan R. Heesch, NOAA Chief of Port Operations, Gulf Marine Support Facility in Pascagoula, MS, volunteered at the Seven Seas Celebration. He made learning about NOAA ship safety fun by demonstrating how to wear water survival suits, fire suits, hats and masks. Students had the opportunity to try on the safety equipment while learning about the importance of safety gear on board NOAA ships. LT Heesch also spoke to students about his career path and what it’s like to be aboard a NOAA ship. 
Students and the community viewed a drifter similar to one launched from NOAA ship Henry B. Bigelow during Ms. Zupko’s 2014 research cruise. A drifter is a floating ocean buoy equipped with meteorological and/or oceanographic sensing instruments linked to transmitting equipment for sending the observed data to collecting centers. Ms. Zupko collaborated with a teacher from Turkey to track the drifter with her students. Students at Weatherly Heights Elementary sent email letters, snail mail letters, Skyped, and shared lessons with students at the TED College in Istanbul. 
It was a seaworthy night, hosted by Ms. Zupko and her students. The event was supported by Weatherly Heights Elementary teachers, PTA, and volunteers from the secondary schools. 

There are three people standing in a classroom. One is a child, the other a woman in a red, full body, survival suit and the last is a man in a military uniform.
(L-R) Weatherly Heights Elementary Student - Lily, Sue Zupko (in NOAA survival suit), and LT Jonathan Heesch