Science can happen in and out of the classroom, and Pontiac High School teacher Paul Ritter will get a taste of what goes on outside. Ritter was one of 25 teachers nationwide selected to embark on a 16-day study of fish populations with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He says this is a chance of a lifetime for him.
"I'll be able to work alongside the professionals, which is a dream of mine," he says. "When I was a kid, other kids dreamed of being firefighters and police officers and whatnot. My dream was to become a marine biologist."
Ritter also says the trip will go beyond fish populations and is excited for what else he might see.
"Every expedition is totally new, and new things happen every time," he says. "So we're going to see things that they haven't seen in expeditions before."
But above all, he says he is excited for the opportunity this creates for his students. He says they will be able to submit questions to his blog to be answered during the journey, and when he returns, they'll be able to get a taste of real-world research.
"Being able to bring it back into the classroom is the greatest thing," he says. "Being able to take what I've learned and get them engaged in a study that we did out there. I have no idea where it's going to go, but wherever it is, it's exciting."
Ritter sets sail on Wednesday.
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