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Virtual and Classroom Activity Featuring the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument

November 09, 2020

Explore the wonders of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument through a hands-on, educational scavenger hunt.

Precious red coral underwater. The low wide coral toward the bottom of the photo is precious red coral (Corallium sp.). Credit: NOAA OER, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

The deepest parts of the ocean are still some of the most unexplored places on Earth. Home to unique habitats and otherworldly marine life, there truly is nowhere quite like the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on the planet. A new activity, designed for middle school students, allows educators, the general public, and students of all ages to expand their knowledge about this mysterious place. 

The activity incorporates two educational posters with beautiful illustrations based on discoveries from the 2016 NOAA Okeanos Explorer Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas Expedition. The detailed infographics provide an underwater view of the Monument, from the surface of the ocean all the way to the seafloor 36,000 feet below. Featuring diverse ecosystems, unique geologic features, and the abundant marine species that live within the Monument, the imagery presents a distinct perspective that highlights what makes this place so special.

In the scavenger hunt activity, students will search for answers in the posters, as well as NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service websites. The accompanying answer key provides a more comprehensive understanding of each question’s topic. 

This scavenger hunt will help familiarize students, teachers, and even families with the wonders of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. They will learn what a Marine National Monument is, understand the scientific and cultural significance of the Monument, and recognize the remarkable habitat and marine life within the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Regional Office on November 09, 2020