Northwest NEWS

August 9, 1999

Front Page

Ruth Cruz

Tolt Multi-age teacher chosen for REVEL marine research project

by Becky Nixon, contributing writer

   Tolt Multi-age teacher Ruth Cruz was one of eight U.S. teachers selected to participate in the University of Washington's REVEL Project 1999.

   The REVEL project, which stands for Research and Education: Volcanoes, Exploration, and Life, is an educational adventure in submarine research that combines the actual hands-on experience the teachers receive, and the scientific curriculum developed by the chosen teachers. This, in turn, is passed on to their classes for a unique learning experience.

   "It was exciting being chosen, especially for my work in multi-age teaching," said Cruz. "Developing curriculum for three grade levels was of particular interest to the project."

   Cruz holds a bachelor of science in zoology, and a minor in chemistry, and has had extensive courses in geology, which includes oceanography.

   Cruz attended a seminar by Dr. Delany on the "smoker" columns of sea volcanoes, and was drawn by her scientific nature to apply for one of the teacher positions available. She was the first choice.

   Cruz has taught for five years at Tolt Middle School, the last year in multi-age, and has earned an outstanding reputation for teaching science through hands-on discovery and exploration in her curriculum.

   "I enjoy creating the scenario frame of mind," she explained. "This tends to provide an intrinsic motivation to learning, and ends up promoting a much broader field of education by my students. Each student tends to have his/her own area of query, which results in the enrichment for the class as a whole."

   Cruz will join the scientists and the selected team of teachers for an oceanographic research cruise from August 23 to September 6. They will participate in research aboard the vessel R/V Atlantis, and will use the submersible Alvin to study the rich biologic communities on the sea floor. The site of the research operation will be about 200 miles off the Washington coast on the northern Juan de Fuca Ridge, where new sea floor is constantly being created with the shifting of the earth's plates.

   "The Endeavor section of the Juan de Fuca Ridge is the most detailed ocean floor map, more so than in any other part of the world," remarked Cruz. "I am expecially excited about the study of the smokers, the columns of minerals deposited by the superheated water, and the communities of life that live around them."

   Computers will be provided in the classroom by the project for observation and participation.