Seven Connections Academy STEM Teachers Selected for “School of Rock” National Research Workshop

Thirteen Day Sea Voyage in Pacific Northwest to Investigate Earth’s History below Seafloor


BALTIMORE (May 20, 2013) – Seven STEM teachers from Connections Academy virtual public schools across the country set sail today on board the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution, as participants in the 2013 “School of Rock Expedition for Educators” professional development workshop. For 13 days, 12 hours a day—which mimics the long shifts that scientists work during regular two-month expeditions—the teachers will work alongside four instructors and the rest of the ship’s crew during IODP Expedition 342S off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The workshop will include time for teachers to collaborate with scientists, specialists, and other participants to develop classroom materials and create ways to integrate the experience into their classroom instruction for Connections Academy students. Participant and Ohio Connections Academy teacher Cara Will plans to share her experience in real time with her students through the school’s synchronous web-based LiveLesson® platform, straight from the ship’s labs, as well as via daily blog posts, from a blog she has created for her voyage.

Since 2005, the “School of Rock” program has provided hundreds of educators with hands-on training in scientific techniques using the same laboratories, samples, and data available to working scientists aboard the ship. The nine-day research workshop, which will take place from May 20–29, is conducted by the Deep Earth Academy at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and supported by the U.S. Implementing Organization of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

Officially named The Simple Cabled Instrument for Measuring Parameters in-Situ (SCIMPI) School of Rock, the workshop will enable the Connections Academy teachers to conduct hands on analyses of cores and microbial samples with scientists and technicians who specialize in IODP research. Aboard the JOIDES Resolution, the Connections Academy teachers will study research faults and hard rock geology, as well as observe the installation of a SCIMPI, a seafloor observatory instrument designed to measure temperature, pressure and electrical resistivity over time in the sub-seafloor. 

Participating Connections Academy STEM teachers include:

  • Molly Clark, Michigan Connections Academy
  • Christina Lockhard, Commonwealth Connections Academy (PA)
  • John Meyer, Oregon Connections Academy
  • Christine Nakamura, Capistrano Connections Academy (southern California)
  • Krista Sommer, Commonwealth Connections Academy (PA)
  • James Stewart, Oregon Connections Academy
  • Cara Will, Ohio Connections Academy

For more information, visit the SCIMPI School of Rock program.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, and full-time and part-time private school programs, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. In the 2012–13 school year, Connections Academy serves students in 22 states via 24 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, International Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com. Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO) www.Pearson.com.