CLASSROOM – Oceans
World Oceans Day on June 8th inspires the classroom to explore the deepest depths of the ocean floor. In this case, we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of the Marianas Trench.
The deepest point in the oceans, this trench was discovered in 1875 in the Pacific Ocean off the southeast coast of Guam when the Challenger Expedition sounded a depth of 8,184 meters or 26,850 feet.
Despite the great depth, life does exist in the Marianas Trench. Single-celled organisms such as xenophyophores are one of the most common creatures that live there. Tiny amphipods and small sea cucumbers with long, leathery bodies also live in the harsh elements of the trench. Because no sunlight reaches these great depths, no plants grow at the deepest parts of the ocean.
Under these extreme conditions, specialized equipment is necessary to explore the ocean floor. Only four humans have made the descent, and the first two were Swiss oceanographer Jaques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh. On January 23, 1960, they descended in a small, pressurized capsule 7 miles below the ocean’s surface to a place now called Challenger Deep.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Check out this week’s projects and share them with your students and their families. If you have ideas or comments you would like us to hear, share any of them by clicking on the contact us link.
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THIS WEEK’S PROJECTS
Down load and print this week’s Marianas Trench Worksheet. Explore websites, maps, and videos related to the Marianas Trench to learn more to answer the questions on the worksheet.