Mooresville teacher to make 2nd exploration trip

The Mooresville Graded School District Board approved an expansion of the iPad program at Tuesday's regular meeting.
WSIC File Photo.


Mooresville, NC – May 26, 2015 — Lindsay Knippenberg from Mooresville High School has been selected as a 2015 Lead Science Communication Fellow and will sail aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus during its 2015 expedition. Ms. Knippenberg will join the Corps of Exploration aboard E/V Nautilus this June and July as they explore the Galapagos Islands.

Twenty-­eight educators and twenty­-six students from around the world have been selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea during the 2015 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition. OET, a nonprofit founded by Dr. Robert Ballard in 2008, has the mission to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics, and chemistry while pushing the boundaries of STEM education and technological innovation. The selected educators and students hail from schools, universities, science centers, aquaria, and non­-profit organizations in twenty-­five states in the US and five countries. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during sea-­going expeditions from April through October in the Gulf of Mexico, Galápagos Islands, and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

“I had an incredible experience on board the E/V Nautilus this fall studying the biology and geology of underwater mountains off the coast of the British Virgin Islands. Students at every level of the Mooresville Graded School District (elementary, middle, and high school) were able to follow my expedition and be inspired by what we saw as we explored regions of the ocean where no one had ever been before. This summer I will return to the E/V Nautilus as a Lead SCF and my expedition will take me to the Galapagos Islands off the coast Ecuador to study hydrothermal vent communities and the geology of the region. I am very excited to explore these communities, which we know very little about, and inspire the next generation of future scientists.” ­ Lindsay Knippenberg, Mooresville High School Science Teacher

As members of the Corps of Exploration, educators and students will stand watch alongside scientists and engineers, as well as participate in live interactions with shore­-based audiences via Nautilus Live, a 24­hour web portal bringing expeditions from the field to future explorers on shore via telepresence technology at and via social media.

OET promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education around the world using the excitement of exploration and innovation to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. In 2014, OET began targeting its suite of education and outreach programs to specific communities through an exciting new initiative, the Community STEM Program (CSP). The CSP allows partner communities to engage community members in all of the educational programs OET offers, which are designed to guide young students to early career professionals and educators through a series of programs focused on STEM fields and vocations, increasing the impact the programs can have in any individual location. OET’s focus on the CSP represents a new approach that forges relationships across community partners with the common goal of increasing STEM literacy and proficiency.

“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEM fields,” said OET Executive Vice President, Dr. Katy Croff Bell, “so we are very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of ocean exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share their experiences far and wide with their peers.”

The 2015 Science Communication Fellowship Program, an initiative of OET, will bring twenty-­two formal and informal educators together from around the world as a part of the Nautilus Corps of Exploration. Fellows are charged with the responsibility of engaging students and the public in the wonders of ocean exploration, sharing discoveries from the 2015 mission, as well as aspects of daily life aboard a working exploration vessel. Fellows receive four days of intensive training at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, and then spend two to three weeks aboard Nautilus between the months of April and October, as it explores the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific Ocean. An equally important aspect of the program is that the Fellows bring the expedition and excitement of ocean exploration back to their home communities after they have returned from sea by incorporating their experience into classroom lesson plans, community presentations, and through informal educational opportunities. The Science Communication Fellowship is made possible with sponsorship from Bechtel, the Office of Naval Research, the Florida Panthers Foundation, and private donations.

“I am extremely excited for Lindsay and for the Mooresville community! Lindsay is very fortunate to have been chosen to be part of this prestigious program. She will be able learn so much from this once-­in-­a­-lifetime opportunity and will then be able share this experience with our students.” ­ Michael Royal, Mooresville HIgh School Principal

Ms. Knippenberg will participate in live audio commentary and question­-and­-answer sessions through the Nautilus Live website ( while aboard the ship; She will also engage events and activities upon her return. Global audiences can tune in to the website, Facebook or Instagram at NautilusLive, and on Twitter as @EVNautilus to follow their expedition.

The public, scientists, educators, and students can join Ms. Knippenberg’s adventure while she is at sea via streaming video on, a 24-­hour portal bringing expeditions from the field to onshore audiences through telepresence technology. The public can also follow the expedition on social media ౼ on Twitter as @EVNautilus and on Facebook and Instagram as NautilusLive ౼ and through in­person live interactions at partner museums, aquaria, and science centers around the world.

About the Ocean Exploration Trust

The Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics, and chemistry while pushing the boundaries of STEM education and technological innovation. Our international program is launched from aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, offering live exploration to participants on shore and the public via live video, audio, and data feeds. The major 2015 expedition and education sponsors are the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bechtel, the Florida Panthers Foundation, CITGO, Office of Naval Research, the National Geographic Society, University of Rhode Island, and additional private donors. Follow us online at, on Facebook and Instagram at NautilusLive, and on Twitter as @EVNautilus.

About Mooresville Graded School District

The Mooresville Graded School District is located in the town of Mooresville in the Southern Piedmont region of North Carolina. A district of approximately 6000 students, MGSD consists of three elementary schools, two intermediate schools, one middle school, and one high school which includes an advanced technology and arts center campus. In recent years, MGSD has leveraged access to technology and digital resources to significantly enhance the level of student interest, motivation, and engagement in learning, such that today it is seen as an international leader in the use of technology to enhance and support student learning.

This press release appears as received from the Mooresville Graded School District with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here.  Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed.  Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release was posted at after being received from the agency listed.  Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the Mooresville Graded School District.

Author: WSIC editor