BCPS in the News

New River Marine Science Magnet Coordinator Aboard the “Nautilus” Exploration Vessel

Friday, May 08, 2015

Katherine O’Fallon, New River Middle School Marine Science Magnet coordinator, is gearing up for an incredible deep sea adventure. She is one of 28 educators from around the world to be selected as a 2015 Nautilus Ambassador and sail aboard Dr. Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (EV) Nautilus during its 2015 expedition. Dr. Ballard is one of the world’s most well-known deep sea explorers; among his notable achievements, the discovery of the sunken Titanic. 

O’Fallon will join the Corps of Exploration aboard EV Nautilus from May 13-19, 2015, as they explore the Gulf of Mexico. During her trip, O’Fallon will take part in an interactive live video conference with her students at New River Middle, allowing them to share in her experiences, ask questions and be part of the adventure. 

“This opportunity to be on board the Nautilus, participating in the Ambassador Program, exposes my students to real-world applications and opportunities for their future in studying the marine environment,” said O’Fallon. 

“Since we are a Marine Science Magnet Program, it is a great educational opportunity for our students to interact with the Nautilus. Having one of their instructors aboard the vessel makes the connection more relevant,” said Melinda Wessinger, principal at New River Middle. “We are honored to have this opportunity.” 

O’Fallon was chosen for the 2015 Nautilus Exploration Program (NAP) from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). OET, a nonprofit founded by Dr. 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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM ) education and technological innovation. 

“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEM fields,” said Dr. Katy Croff Bell, OET Executive Vice President. “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 NAP is made possible with sponsorship from CITGO, Pfizer, and the Florida Panthers Foundation. Members of the public can follow O’Fallon’s adventure at sea via streaming video at www.nautiluslive.org


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 www.nautiluslive.org, on Facebook and Instagram at NautilusLive, and on Twitter as @EVNautilus. 

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 238 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 99 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 135 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit browardschools.com, follow us on Twitter @Browardschools, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.