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Education, outreach, and communications summary

EOC, scientific, and technical personnel participated in an initial seminar on constructivist and inquiry-based education methods, and EOC personnel followed up with several weeks of exercises to investigate earth science concepts to gain a foundation in the regional geology and scientific objectives of the expedition. Projects outlined in general terms during precruise webinars were clarified, and strategies were developed for completing them.

Progress reports and meetings were conducted every 2 weeks to facilitate and modify plans, as needed, and to assess achievements. Independence and constructivist learning were emphasized, allowing individuals to work on projects that were beneficial to their future goals and to the ocean drilling community and whose success relied on each person’s set of skills. Projects ranged from earth science classroom activities to computer learning interactives, demonstrations on robotics, computer animation, and science-related fine arts. More than 70 individual activities were completed and are ready for testing with teachers and students.

The shipboard EOC team advanced the scientific goals of the expedition and of IODP by communicating the importance of scientific ocean drilling to a broad external audience and engendering understanding and enthusiasm for scientific exploration, ocean drilling, and subseafloor observatories. This was accomplished in partnership with the science party. Toward this objective, the team worked with blogs, up-to-the-minute social media, and live video interactions with schools and museums. More than 90 blog posts in English and French were added to (USIO website oriented toward a nonscientific audience) by eight authors. Ohio teacher Jackie Kane’s blogs were notable for the close one-on-one dialogue she maintained with students and her rapid and thorough responses to comments (Fig. F15A). Kane’s page ranked second only to the home page, with 1257 views during August, or 7.5% of the total 16,660 page views. Overall, visitorship and use increased 40% in July compared to the previous 2 months, with August bringing 2435 new visitors to the site (Fig. F15D).

The Adopt-A-Microbe from the Deep Biosphere website (spearheaded by Expedition 327 microbiologist Beth Orcutt), attracted and engaged numerous visitors, introducing them to the nature of dark biosphere research ( (Orcutt et al., submitted). This website is notable for its rich variety of formats and activities, and it attracted numerous visitors, many of whom participated in weekly hands-on activities and submitted their results to the site. As one of the first IODP education and outreach activities focused on communicating the exciting discoveries being made about microbial life in the deep biosphere, the Adopt-A-Microbe model will be replicated and incorporated into future expedition education and outreach activities. This website was linked to, as was scientist Amanda Turner’s blog for eighth grade special education students in Phoenix, Arizona. Turner’s blog resulted in a set of engaging math and science-related interviews with scientists and other shipboard personnel, emphasizing the importance of mathematics and science in careers. These interviews will be added to the career interactive later this year, along with adaptive activities for special needs students. The team also focused on outreach through the JOIDES Resolution and Deuxprofsembarques Joides Facebook pages, the JOIDES Resolution Twitter page, and four YouTube videos (two videos showed operations related to CORK and OsmoSampler deployments, the third video was an animation that depicted postdrilling operations at a CORK wellhead, and the fourth presented a scientific overview of CORKs; see MOVIES in “Supplementary material”).

EOC team members conducted 15 live video events for approximately 500 participants at museums, summer camp groups, and schools in the United States (California, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, DC), France, and New Caledonia. Further information will be collected through user surveys, but anecdotal and qualitative information, as well as increased social media and website activity immediately following these video events, suggest generally positive response to the fast-paced virtual tours of shipboard laboratories and interviews with scientific, technical, and engineering staff. Noteworthy broadcasts included women on the ship talking with high school girls at a career-focused summer camp, shipboard educators talking directly to their students, and an all new safety-oriented ship and laboratory tour intended to introduce New Jersey eighth graders to the use of personal protective equipment, fire drills, and accident reporting. Other novel outreach contributions during Expedition 327 include a live-action video introducing CORK technology and experimental goals crafted by scientific personnel and forwarded in advance of videoconferences, an animated presentation of drilling and CORK technology to be used for public and scientific outreach, audio podcasts featured on the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE)-sponsored OceanGazing podcast site, and two video conferences conducted with the research vessels D/V Chikyu and R/V Thompson.