mLive has a nice feature on some Michigan students who helped discover 2 wrecks in Lake Huron. 122 years ago, the 138-foot schooner M.F. Merrick was hit by the steel freighter Etruria, sinking both ships. The students used historical records and diving experts to identify the ships, and helped to document the vessels in 3-D for the newest exhibit at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. The article explains that:
…the crew of Project Shiphunt — which included five high school students from Saginaw — had identified two previously undiscovered wrecks in more than 300 feet of water just outside of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
“That was just powerful, to be the first human eyes to look at these since they went to the bottom,” said James Delgado, director of Maritime Heritage at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and expedition leader for Project Shiphunt. “We were looking for a ship that was sunk in a collision, and we ended up finding two other ships that were sunk in a collision.”
The project was a joint venture sponsored by Sony and Intel corporations that incorporated technology, oceanography, archeology and history into a hands-on curriculum that brought history to life for the Saginaw students during six days in May. The students directed the mission, charted the map in search of the steamer Choctaw, and manned the massive research vessels as they painted the floor of Lake Huron with triple-beam and side-scan sonars.
You can learn more about Project Shiphunt in a video from Sony/Intel. Definitely watch this if you can – it’s a very cool video and shows how engaged the students were with the actual work of exploration. The documentary will air on the Current cable channel at 10 PM on Aug. 30th so check that out too!
To my mind, this is what education should be. Here’s a 3D visualization of the ROV exploring the MF Merrick that’s pretty neat as well.