Heidi Wigman: Introduction, May 15, 2015

NOAA Teacher At Sea
Heidi Wigman
Soon-to-be-Aboard NOAA Ship Pisces
May 27 – June 10, 2015

Personal Log

The countdown has begun.  Looking at the calendar, I have less than 2 weeks until I kiss the family goodbye, and board a plane bound for Biloxi, Mississippi.  From there, I will be joining the crew of the Pisces, and we will depart on a research journey in the Gulf of Mexico.  During our time at sea, we will be we will be engaged in reef fish surveys of offshore banks and in the marine reserves along the West Florida Shelf.  To say that I am excited about the upcoming adventure is an understatement.

I have always had a passion for the ocean.  Growing up in Santa Monica, California, I spent as many hours of the day as I could at the beach.  Whether I had my toes in the sand, on the deck of a sailboat, or on a surfboard – I loved the feeling of being in the water.  Today, as a transplant from Hawaii living in Portland, Oregon, I still seem to log many hours of exploration both above and below water.

When I’m not playing, I am a teacher at St. Matthew School in Hillsboro, Oregon (go Vikings!).  I teach 6-8th grade math and technology – under this umbrella comes algebra, data and statistics, probability, geometry, robotics, computer programming, and more.  One of the challenges of a middle school math teacher is to try to engage a group of pre-teens for about one hour each day. As a teacher, I have had to answer the notorious: “When will we ever use this?” more than once. Real-life applications of mathematics get farther from the common experiences of a middle schooler as the math becomes more complex. Through this amazing experience, I would like focus on using data collected about the coral reef and fisheries, various research operations, and navigation to explore algebraic concepts.

Why do we explore? Jean-Michel Cousteau has said, “We know more about the dead seas of Mars than our own ocean.” There is something about the excitement of discovery, especially into the unknown – so it is surprising to learn that 95% of the Earth’s ocean is unexplored.  Climate change, energy, human health, ocean health, research, innovation, and ocean literacy are all modern reasons for ocean exploration.  NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program provides the means with which teachers can bring the ocean back to their students to promote and inspire the love of exploration.  The students of today will be the explorers of tomorrow.

I hope that you will continue to join my journey for the next month by coming back to read the latest happenings aboard the Pisces.  


NOAA Ship Pisces – my soon-to-be home for 15 days

23 responses to “Heidi Wigman: Introduction, May 15, 2015

  1. Bon voyage Heidi. We’ll enjoy following you on your journey. Be safe and have fun.

  2. Hi Mrs. Wigman! When you said about the ” How does this apply to the real world?” I thought about the questions that are asked in math class😉 I hope you have fun, and count on me to see your latest blog. I am actually getting an email when you have a new post!

  3. Mrs. Wigman! I didn’t get to say goodbye! So, late bon voyage to you! Have fun, I hope you keep blogging about your trip. See you in September!

  4. Wow, I never knew 95% of the ocean has not been explored! I can’t wait to see more pictures and learn more of how to connect math/other subjects in school to life. Thanks for the new knowledge.

  5. Hi Mrs Wigman, we all miss you and we can’t wait to see you! I hope you have fun!

  6. I miss you Mrs. Wigman, math isn’t the same without you! Have a boat load of fun! Hahaha get it boat load. have fun

  7. We all already miss you so much! I think this is the longest our class has been without a teacher at once, so have fun exploring the ocean! See you in September, Elizabeth

  8. Hey Mrs. Wigman, math isn’t the same without you, although Mrs. Fullmer is a great sub! You are totally missed!

  9. I really miss you Mrs. Wigman!!! Have an awesome time!! It’s not the same without you!

  10. Wow! It sounds like a lot of fun. Hope you brought your tide watch with you.
    Have fun,

  11. Have a boat’s load of fun exploring the ocean. I did not know that 95% of the ocean is unexplored and that we know more about the dead sea on mars than the ocean on earth. I hope you enjoy the wonders and mysteries that come your way through the waves of exploration.

  12. you like to be in the water like you used to be when you where a kid and you just do it. Your mother and father will be happy for you for what are you doing .there are something that i did not know like 95% of the ocean was unexplored .see in next year, God bless you

  13. That sounds cool. I wish I was there, but then again I wouldn’t really get to talk to many people besides the people on-board. We all already miss you!

  14. Hope you have a great time at sea. We all miss you a lot. Make lots of really great memories at sea. Your student, Oscar

  15. I hope that you are having a lot of fun! Debate has not been the same without you, neither has technology. I hope that this trip is as wild and fun as you are! See you later. Have fun and know that you are missed!

  16. WOW! That was a big fish you caught! I hope you are having lots of fun on your trip.

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