Students will design a blueprint of a research vessel and create a slideshow discussing the rationality of their design with the class.

Students will start by completing a webquest on the different equipment that can be found at an ocean observatory. They will explore a variety of research equipment used to determine the biochemical and geophysical activities of our oceans. Students will be able to compare and contrast data for inshore vs offshore mooring systems and gliders.

Then students will be given grant money to decide which equipment they will need to conduct their research, keeping in mind restraints such as ship dimensions, storage, food, fuel, etc.

Cover image drawing: Regional Class Research Vessel Ship Design, OSU CEOAS.



Carisa Ketchen, Melissa Kilgore, Adam Reis, Stacey Sebert

Additional Resources

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Systems and system models
  • Structure and function
Core Ideas
  • ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
  • ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution
  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • Developing and using models

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concepts

  • 7.B: Understanding the ocean is more than a matter of curiosity. Exploration, inquiry and study are required to better understand ocean systems and processes.
  • 7.D: New technologies, sensors and tools are expanding our ability to explore the ocean. Ocean scientists are relying more and more on satellites, drifters, buoys, subsea observatories and unmanned submersibles.