Exciting Science and Environmental Program, 2012/2013

© Tara Expéditions / Une année scolaire scientifique

 The Tara team has prepared an exciting year. Judge for yourself!

October 20-21, we will be present at Toulouse for the festival “Scientilivre.” Sophie Nicaud, author of a travelogue for young people entitled “Mission Tara Oceans, a scientist’s journal” (Editions Pommier), will meet the public and do a book-signing.

In early November Tara will be in Paris for 3 months, accompanied by a 200 m2 exhibition about the research schooner’s expeditions. An educational program, including a tour of the boat and the exhibition, will be offered to classes during the 3-month period.

In late November we return to Toulouse for the Festival “Terre d’ailleurs” organized by the association “Délires d’encre.” This event aims at bringing together primary school classes and authors/ travelers. This year’s theme is water. Sophie Nicaud will share her experience aboard Tara with 4 classes. A conference and book-signing are scheduled for November 24 and 25 at the Natural History Museum.

Our main educational program this year is “From Boat to Lab.” Its objective is to show what happens in our partner laboratories once the samples from the Tara Oceans expedition are delivered. What do scientists do with the samples? What are they looking for? What are the challenges of this research? For students this is a great opportunity to see the way science works close-up, to become familiar with various scientific professions, or simply to satisfy their curiosity. Teachers will find this a fascinating project to use in their classroom work.

We are also continuing (in partnership with the Rectorat de Rennes) our “Orientations” program. Starting with portraits of people working at various jobs around Tara, students can discover different professional activities, and then seek out professionals in their own region.

Tara’s educational advisor is available to assist teachers in setting up specific projects throughout the year, and can make visits to schools when possible.

Every year in May or June we organize meetings of the classes participating in Tara projects so that students can present the results of their work and research to others. Some of these meetings may take place in the participating regions.

This year Tara will travel around France making stopovers in Roscoff, Le Havre, Paris, Marseille, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Monaco, Bordeaux, Nantes – where school visits will be organized. Stay tuned to sign up!

Finally on May 16, Tara will set off on a new expedition to the Arctic. For 6 months the schooner will sail around the Arctic Ocean via the northwest and northeast passages. Samples of plankton will be collected to complement those made during the Tara Oceans expedition. An observation mission of wildlife in south Greenland will also be conducted. We are thinking about how to enable classes to follow this mission that straddles 2 school years, with a large part happening during the summer holidays. Perhaps we will propose a Tara project as holiday homework?

This gives you an idea of what we’re planning. Our projects are not completely determined. More detailed information will appear in the days and weeks to come. Keep your eyes open and don’t hesitate to contact us.

Xavier Bougeard, Responsible for educational activities –