Breadcrumb

Fourth Graders Talk Oceanography and Geology With Scientist Ashley Braunthal
Julian Corbett

Last Wednesday, fourth graders got a special visit from Ashley Braunthal, a scientist who specializes in geology and oceanography. Ms. Braunthal, who is a PhD student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, spoke with students about the work she’s done on research projects and expeditions studying past climates and marine sediment. 
 
Students in 4-1 and 4-2 have been studying landforms and how everything from volcanic eruptions and earthquakes to tsunamis and landslides have shaped environments over time. To supplement their current unit on sediments, Ms. Braunthal talked about the research she’s done on sediment in the Arctic Ocean.
 
Ms. Braunthal walked the students through the process of doing field research—identifying locations to investigate, taking a research vessel out to sea and extracting a sediment sample from the ocean floor. And she spoke about what tools and methods she and her team use to analyze the data they collect in the field, explaining how the ways of observing and thinking about nature the fourth graders are learning now develop into the research methods of a working scientist.
 
“It’s a type of science that keeps you busy,” Ms. Braunthal said. “You’re not doing the same thing every moment, which I find really exciting. And it brings you to remote parts of the world, so it gives you a chance to travel to places you wouldn’t get to otherwise.”
 
Ms. Braunthal also took questions from students about what inspired her to become a scientist, what it’s like to travel all over the world for research and why she chose to study sediment in the ocean instead of on land. Her answer to the last question: “I’m interested in the more recent past.” While on land, Ms. Bruanthal said, sediment is usually millions of years old, but in the ocean, it’s “only” 100,000 or 200,000 years old!

  • Grammar School

More Stories

Chess Students Show Resilience While Competing Nationwide

This year’s National K-12 Chess Championships were replaced by a novel online edition due to COVID. Predictably, the new format presented an array of technical and logistical challenges compared to the annual trip to Florida, but the event was still well-attended and highly competitive. Meanwhile, Hans N.' 21 was abroad confirming his Grandmaster status.

Fifth Grade Historian Jared L. Launches Website Showcasing Student Work

In Core Coordinator Stefanie Trepper’s 5-6 class, students are taking part in an investigative American history unit. One fun project requires students to research and create a timeline of the events leading up to the American Revolution. Fifth grade student, Jared L., went above and beyond, taking it upon himself to create a website to house the timelines of each of his classmates.

MS Club Hosts Coach of Tibetan Basketball Team

Last Monday, the Middle School club Sports Talk played host to Bill Johnson, who played basketball as a student at MIT before becoming an assistant coach there, and who currently coaches a semi-professional basketball team in China’s Gansu province on the Tibetan Plateau.

GS Greets Animals From Across the World

On Friday, February 26, the Grammar School participated in an exciting, virtual animal assembly with Collin Davis of The Nature Company, a Brooklyn-based animal education program.