By: Matt Rutherford On: April 18, 2014 In: Education, STEM Education Comments: 0



April 18th 2014:

Hi, Maryland Old Mill Middle School Students! Have you ever had the opportunity to be a part of an Ocean Research Team? I am Nicole Trenholm an ocean scientist and I will be out to sea, out of sight of land, very busy collecting samples of plastic pollution starting from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other; California (latitude 37° 47.109’N, longitude 122° 15.793’W) to Japan (latitude 33° 36.779’N, longitude 130° 22.279’E). Can you plotour start and finish locations on Google Earth? What port cities are at these locations? I am not alone on this voyage, famous Guinness record breaking explorer, Captain Matt Rutherford is leading the research expedition, keeping the wind in our sails as we work our way to Japan. Are you ready to act as special reporters and ocean researchers by building a live BLOG with us that will be posted on multiple websites and seen by countless people of all ages who care about what you have to say about the problems with plastic debris in our oceans?

Do you think you could get the word out on the multiple problems and solutions related to plastic afloat in the ocean? A BLOG is a boundless way to share information across the globe. How do students in the middle of the country, such as students in Colorado or Oklahoma, land-locked states learn and care about the problems in the ocean? They may never have walked the beaches along an ocean or bay and seen plastic debris washed up along the shore. Have you ever went swimming, kayaking or surfing and seen a bottle or piece of trash floating by? If you and your classmates work together you can create a great source of information and if you share the BLOG with friends and family across the country your BLOG could make a USA sized impact. Let’s do our part to keep the plastic out of the ocean and tell everyone why.

We are about to set sail, the boat it is almost ready! I just have to grab some groceries and call my family to say goodbye. We have to leave with a favorable weather forecast and with full confidence that Sakura (the name of our boat, which means Cherry Blossom in Japanese) is strong and secure thanks to all who worked hard to get ready to go. I am really excited, a little anxious and am very curious just how much plastic pollution we will find as we make our way to Japan. How does plastic get out into the ocean? Where does it collect once it is out there? I will give you a hint, Sakura will move atop the ocean surface with the help of some of these natural forces. There are also many ways people cause plastic to end up in the ocean. Matt and I really look forward to learning more from the information you find related to the above questions! Do you realize your about to become experts? Let’s bring this BLOG to life!

Cheers~ Nicole

The student’s BLOG will also appear on the Sierra Club’s local chapter webpage!


Check out our internship program for Anne Arundel County High School Students!