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Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in the GCOOS-RA Footprint: A Hook for Teaching How Data are Used in the Real World
 Oil spill from the air
Despite legislative initiatives to bolster Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, U.S. students, particularly those from the Gulf Coast, and their Mexican counterparts, continue to perform poorly on international assessments. To address the need for enhanced STEM education, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) is working with its data partners to develop the skills needed to understand and appreciate the science and technology required to manage the living resources of the Gulf of Mexico, make informed voting decisions, power the future work force, and compete in a global economy.

Incorporating data from AUVs and other platforms, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is being used as a living example of the Scientific Process to demonstrate how STEM disciplines translate to science and technology applications that are relevant to their everyday lives. The project complements ongoing research focused on priority issues identified by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Task Force, and the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project, supports ocean and environmental literacy initiatives, and aligns with state and federal education standards.

Presented by C. Simoniello, C. Lembke, G.J. Kirkpatrick, R.H. Weisberg, B.A. Kirkpatrick, A.E. Jochens, M.K. Howard, S. Walker, C. Szczechowski, J. Cannizzaro, and D. English at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

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