In the beginning, aside from a way to honor my great-uncle Billy and his shipmates I had thoughts of using the STRONG expedition should it come to be, as an educational and informational tool. Billy was a teacher prior to joining the Naval Reserve, and I believe he would be totally on board with something such as this. Over 500,000 people from around the world watched the live stream broadcast. That was a one-time deal as far as we know. No one but Mr. Allen has done this before. So what if you had a game plan for an expedition, from start to finish, documenting the steps along the way, something that could be accessed at any time by thousands of people? My idea for following an expedition on film is to do this in short vignettes, maybe no more than 10 minutes each that would describe the events leading up to the discovery, cover the discovery and then the aftermath. In these shorts we could discuss the history of the ship and even focus on some individual stories of the men. There would be primers on the equipment (ROV’s, AUV’s) used to locate the site, such as was seen for the MUSASHI. We could have someone discuss the history of the Solomon Islands during WW2 and the part the islanders played in helping the allies gain control. In addition there could be lessons on weather patterns, geology and volcanism, ocean currents, local wildlife and ecology – so many topics could be covered. These films could be posted on a web site dedicated to school children from kindergarten to high school. I’d especially like to have a focus toward high school kids working to decide on a career path, some things to consider when choosing a major for college. How many different job types are involved in the exploration industry? There are meteorologists, biologists, archaeologists, engineers, historians, marine scientists, mechanics- just a few examples of the many different vocations involved in this type of industry.
In the past I have worked with kids of all ages on many levels. I miss that. This would be the perfect vehicle for pulling in kids, teachers and parents. The key is education and information. Do it in a manner that is entertaining and engaging and offer it to the world. I believe this is one way to help foster concern for these resources and to build respect for the sites that remain to be discovered. Kids dig deep sea exploration, and I for one can never get enough of watching anything on this topic that comes up on NatGeo, Discovery, History Channel or whatever. The kid in me is never satisfied. Let’s feed this information to our children in a way that keeps them seeking and searching for more. Let’s show them the world under the sea, the exploration of this world as they have never seen it. I’d love it to be interactive, where questions could be submitted and responses posted. This way they would know they are heard and their thoughts are important.
It would be awesome to have the resources to pull this off. Bucket list has been updated, and the universe has been notified. I’ve been inspired.