Summary of Argo Floats - tracking the pulse of world oceans | NZ teachers, enrol in this LEARNZ virtual field trip

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Summary Page: Argo Floats - tracking the pulse of world oceans
Term 2 starting 16 June 2014.



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All the material from the Argo Floats virtual field trip remains available for continued use.

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The vessel Tangaroa leaves port from Wellington on Monday June 16 and we've got you booked to go! With your class you will join scientists heading out to a large, flat, deep part of the ocean. You will be there when they drop robots, called Argo floats, overboard to investigate the ocean.

The regular Argo floats go 2,000m deep to measure the ocean, but the new 'Deep' Argo floats being tested on this voyage will drop almost to the ocean floor - more than 5,500m before resurfacing to send valuable data to a satellite. You will get to adopt and track your own Argo float, one of over 3,500 drifting on the world's oceans, and collect the data that comes from it.

Oceans play a vital role on planet earth so this trip fits perfectly with big ideas like climate change, pressure, water, salinity, density, latitude and longitude, personal responsibility and our world. This trip is a journey to a remote part of the world's oceans, so be prepared for the unexpected! Get your class involved in this one! Enrol now.

Where you will go

Your journey starts with a trip to Wellington where the RV Tangaroa will be waiting for you. Once you've passed the safety briefing and found your berth the Tangaroa will head out to sea. The voyage will see you sail 1000 kilometres north to a point east of Auckland returning to Auckland 9 days later.

In preparation for this field trip you will learn about:

  • latitude and longitude
  • the world's oceans
  • life at sea
  • climate change
  • pressure, depth and the Cartesian Diver
  • the Argo float programme
  • the Deep Argo Float programme and this voyage
  • Google Earth

During the field trip you will:

  • need to keep your sea legs at all times
  • join the crew on-board NIWA's research ship Tangaroa
  • get to know the crew and scientists
  • see how an ocean-going ship works
  • get involved with ocean experiments
  • help launch regular and Deep Argo Floats
  • be a scientist, crunching numbers and making sense of experimental data

After the field trip you will:

  • adopt the Argo Float and follow its journey from where you left it
  • download data and compare it to other Argo float data

Learning Areas/Levels

Mathematics and Statistics Levels 3-5; Science: Nature of Science Levels 2-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-5, Physical World Levels 2-4, Material World Levels 2-4; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-4

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: Argo Floats, carbon, carbon cycle, chemical reactions, climate, climate change, detectors, earth processes, earth science, electronic navigation, environment, environmental issues, expedition, future focus, gadgets, geographic issue, geospatial, GIS, GPS, human impacts, location based information, monitoring change, ocean acidification, oceans, Offshore, Pacific Ocean, scientific research, sea, sustainability, technological change, technological innovation

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