Sulphur teacher to join Pacific Ocean expedition this summer - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sulphur teacher to join Pacific Ocean expedition this summer

Nautilus (Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board) Nautilus (Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board)
Katherine Gertz (Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board) Katherine Gertz (Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board)
Nautilus (Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board) Nautilus (Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board)
SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

A Sulphur elementary school teacher will set off on an expedition of the Pacific Ocean this summer.

Katherine Gertz from E. K. Key Elementary has been selected as a 2017 CITGO Nautilus Ambassador, and will board the Exploration Vessel (E/V) "Nautilus" in late July to explore the Pacific Ocean off the central California coast, said Holly Holland, spokeswoman for the Calcasieu Parish School Board.

The Nautilus Ambassador Program will host six educators participating in the Ocean Exploration Trust’s (OET) Community STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Program aboard the vessel.

OET promotes science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) education around the world to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers; the Nautilus Ambassadors were selected for their leadership in education, and commitment to bringing unique STEM educational experience to their learners, said Holland.

“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEAM fields,” said Allison Fundis, OET’s Vice President of Education, Outreach and Communications. “We are very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of ocean exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share that experience with their peers around the world.”

The teachers will experience life aboard a research vessel and see firsthand how deep-sea exploration and research is conducted. They'll gain exposure to at-sea science, technology, engineering, communications and education during their time aboard, while shadowing professionals in each field. Then they'll return to their classrooms in the fall to share their experience with students and colleagues, said Holland.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Gertz. “I am looking forward to learning all I can and coming back to share the new information with the students and educators in Southwest Louisiana.”

Ambassadors will spend five days aboard E/V "Nautilus" during one leg of the 6-month expedition. During that time they'll interact with shore-based audiences - giving live audio commentary and participating in question-and-answer sessions - via Nautilus Live, a web portal, said Holland.

You can also follow the expedition on Twitter as @EVNautilus and on Facebook and Instagram as NautilusLive.

“Come join me as I explore the Pacific Ocean and dive into learning all about what STEM has to offer this generation as they look for new and exciting professions, and to help them discover the amazing world we live all live in,” said Gertz.

For more information on the Ocean Exploration Trust, you can visit www.nautiluslive.org.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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