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March 2, 2008

Immersion Presents: Monterey Bay Live Broadcasts

Location: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Dates: Sunday, March 2 – Friday, March 7
Times (EST): 11 am, 12 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm
Program Length: 30 minutes

Immersion Presents:

How do you get kids to say “I want to be a scientist when I grow up?” Dr. Robert Ballard, known for discovering the Titanic among other scientific breakthroughs, may have the answer. The renowned oceanographer’s latest quest is not to discover underwater secrets, but to inspire the next generation of ocean explorers by introducing kids to the thrill of discovery and encouraging them to pursue the science and environmental careers so critical for the health of the planet.

From March 2–7, 2008, Immersion Presents Monterey Bay, a cutting-edge, interactive educational program led by Dr. Ballard and a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other institutions, will use telepresence technology – a combination of satellite and Internet connections – to transport young people live to a scientific expedition in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Students will explore in real-time one of the planet’s most spectacular and most important biodiversity hotspots where they will experience majestic 100-foot-tall kelp forests, take a day trip out to the deep sea in NOAA’s research vessel R/V Fulmar, and study endangered marine mammals like the grey or blue whale and the threatened California sea otter.

“When kids see scientists in action, whether diving a kelp forest, exploring with an ROV, or getting up close to a whale, they immediately discover that being a scientist means much more than wearing a white coat in a lab," said Dr. Ballard, founder of Immersion Presents. "With everyone talking about ‘going green,’ now more than ever we need kids to get excited about the environmentally focused careers that will help protect the planet. Immersion expeditions show kids that science is not only far from boring or nerdy, it is absolutely essential to preserve one of our most threatened resources, the oceans.”

“Many of our kids only know what a jellyfish is from watching Sponge Bob on television,” said Hector Perez, club director of the Chicago’s Union League Boys & Girls Club, which participates in the program. “It’s hard for kids to imagine being part of something that they’ve never seen before. Immersion Presents’ virtual science expeditions open their minds, transporting them to a whole new world of ocean discoveries, new technology, and exciting career opportunities.”

Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 2, 2008 8:44 AM
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