School may be out for the summer for most, but six Connecticut public school teachers are still learning, trading their Smartboards for the inside of a submarine.
The teachers study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, base them on past real world events or scenarios and throw a bit of history in for the week-long Naval Historical Foundation’s STEM-H (History) fellowship. Through Friday, the teachers are getting a crash course in Naval History and undersea systems as they experience the Submarine Force Library and Museum and visit the Historic Ship Nautilus in Groton, Conn.
Through the fellowship, teachers learn to use the exhibits of the Submarine Force Museum and Nautilus to develop lesson plans for their students based on the STEM and history inherent in the exhibits.
Submarine School and Nautilus crew volunteers are helping the teachers understand the particulars of Nautilus and submarines in general, covering subjects such as propulsion, periscopes, sonar, ship control, torpedoes, fire control, navigation, communications, atmosphere control and sharing with them knowledge of life aboard all types of modern U.S. submarines.
Tours of the systems in the attack center, ship control, submarine escape, and bridge trainers, by Submarine School trainers, helped to reinforce the teachers’ immersion experience. This allowed them to see firsthand how the systems work and brings to life the science and mathematics involved in the museum exhibits.
This week, the teachers are being treated to tours of the Electric Boat Shipyard’s Model Room and will be joining Conn. Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor on a tour of a 21st Century nuclear-powered submarine.
During the last day the teachers will present their own lesson plans to their fellow teachers on to complete their fellowship. Shortly afterward, the plans will be shared nationwide on the museum website www.ussnautilus.org. 2013’s STEM-H teacher fellowship work can be found at www.ussnautilus.org/education/index.shtml.
If you are interested in teaching your children STEM concepts and are near the Submarine Force Library and Museum and Nautilus, you can look at the complete lesson plans from 2011 and 2012, at www.usnavymuseum.org/Education.asp. And if you don’t happen to have a Navy Museum in your backyard, you can still teach the concepts. Just take a look at www.navystemfortheclassroom.com by Discovery Education.
For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navhist/.