Aggie Provides Innovative Learning Experience for Local Children

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: May 13, 2010

Recently, school children in Navasota, Texas, learned from scientists halfway around the world, thanks to Kate Lambert. When Kate, a senior special education major in the Department of Educational Psychology and mentor teacher at Navasota Intermediate School, discovered that one of the science teachers at her school wanted to set up a videoconference for the students, she suggested they Skype with scientists onboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution. The JOIDES Resolution, operated by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), sails around the world to study the history of the earth recorded in sediments and rocks beneath the ocean floor. Kate's father, Wayne Lambert, has worked as a core technician on the ship since 1984. Kate frequently Skyped with her father while he was away at sea, so she knew the ship was capable of corresponding with the class. The students were studying fossils and sediments, which are among the ship's specializations, so the timing was perfect. Four classrooms from Navasota Intermediate were able to speak with the crew while the ship was located off the coast of Hobart, Tasmania. "The crew was able to take the laptop out on deck and show the kids the ocean as they were moving," Kate says. "You could see the kids' eyes light up because they knew it was real." The students were able to learn through many facets of the experience. Not only did they learn about what the crew does on the ship, but they also discovered new career opportunities outside of what they already knew. "A lot of them have parents that work a 9-to-5 job, so showing them a job that takes my father away for a couple months at a time was a learning experience for them," Kate says. Though her father's work on the JOIDES Resolution is nothing new to her, Kate was able to further her students' education and imaginations by providing an opportunity for real-life, active learning. "They were so mesmerized that we were able to talk to someone halfway across the world from us," Kate says. "I am just so happy I got to give them that experience."