The students' adventure begins weeks before
Mission Day. After choosing an area of expertise and forming
an Emergency Response Team (ERT), teams submit applications
to the e-Mission Headquarters. They wait anxiously until
they hear back from e-Mission Headquarters.
Your students are told that e-Mission Headquarters
is often asked by foreign governments and other international
organizations to provide scientific expertise. To do this
Mission Control partners with groups of people serving as
emergency response teams (ERTs). The people in each ERT
must learn Earth system science skills and ideas. Under
pressure, they must be able to work with each other and
with people from other ERTs. Using special monitoring equipment,
like the Low Earth Orbiting satellite, or LEO satellite,
Mission Control works hand-in-hand with various agencies,
such as NASA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
to measure what is happening on Earth. ERT Earth system
experts study these measurements (also called "data")
and provide valuable advice to people in danger.
During each mission, Mission Control coordinates
incoming data from sites around the globe. Members of emergency
response teams will work like Earth system scientists to
interpret the data and make emergency recommendations.
At t-minus 3 weeks
Mission Control accepts your students'
applications and schedules the mission for a "September
4, 1996" date. The students will be told there is a
problem. The LEO satellite is malfunctioning, and the Space
Shuttle crew must be dispatched to repair it. At launch
time the ERTs will stand by to receive and analyze the data
which has been stored on the satellite (called "archived"
Students must be prepared to analyze the
data quickly because the situation could be critical. An
island in the Caribbean called Montserrat has been experiencing
volcanic tremors and ash clouds. Scientists believe the
volcano could erupt any day. For preparation, you and your
students must study volcanoes and what they might do to
the island's fragile spheres.
At t-minus 2 weeks
Your students need to study the dangers and behaviors of hurricanes
and what effects they might have on Montserrat's Earth systems.
At t-minus 1 week
There is a situation. A significant volcanic
disturbance has been detected on Montserrat. If that isn't
alarming enough, a hurricane is forming. The island lies
in its path. Thousands of people on this small island are
Get ready. Learn as much as you can about
Montserrat, its geography and its history of hurricanes
and volcanic disturbance.