School of Rock


Hands-on Research Experiences for Earth and Ocean Science Educators


USSSP sponsors yearly seagoing Earth systems research and education workshops—the “School of Rock”—aboard the JOIDES Resolution during transits and tie-ups. During times when the ship is unavailable, the School of Rock is conducted at the Gulf Coast Repository, located at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, or other institutions. Over 150 formal and informal educators have participated in the School of Rock program since it was initiated in 2005.


During the 7-14 day School of Rock workshop, educators have daily opportunities to conduct geological, physical and/or chemical analyses of sediment and hard-rock cores in laboratories on the ship or at the repository. Scientists who specialize in IODP research instruct participants on topics such as seafloor spreading, mid-ocean ridges, composition and structure of the oceanic crust, paleomagnetism, paleoceanography, biostratigraphy, sedimentology, hydrogeology, and methods for sampling the subseafloor environment. The workshop also provides educators with time to brainstorm and begin planning classroom activities based on their research and newly acquired knowledge.


Announcing Te Kura Kōhatu – School of Rock 2018!


What? A land-based IODP workshop for educators focused on Pacific Rim geology and the tools of scientific ocean drilling.

When? July 5-13, 2018

Where? On-land in Auckland, NZ, and on board the JOIDES Resolution during a port call

Who? Secondary-level educators, with a preference for early career professionals

For more information and to apply, visit our School of Rock page.

This workshop is being co-sponsored by USSSP and ANZIC.




Information about last year’s School of Rock:

The 2017 School of Rock was entitled: Expanding the Geoscience Pipeline by Connecting Educators with Early Career IODP Scientists

Note: A workshop report and presentations on initial results are located here.


What: A special hybrid workshop on IODP science with the goals of:

  • encouraging early career scientists and secondary-level educators from communities that remain poorly represented in STEM fields, and particularly geosciences, to participate.
  • showcasing and educating about JR/IODP capabilities.
  • increasing the diversity of the talent pool that will apply to sail on IODP and related expeditions in the future.
  • building a diverse mentoring pool for undergraduate STEM/geoscience students.
  • creating local partnerships to bolster the STEM/geoscience pipeline.


When? July 10-27 2017


Where? On board the JOIDES Resolution on its transit from Subic Bay, Philippines to Townsville, Australia


Who? Participants sailed in teams of two: a secondary-level educator and an early career scientist from the same area

This workshop was co-sponsored by USSSP/IODP and Indiana University of Pennsylvania with funding from the National Science Foundation (Award ID #1734023).


Previous School of Rock Workshops


  • Exploring Ocean Cores and Climate Connections (29 May-6 June 2016, JOIDES Resolution)
  • Understanding Earth Through Ocean Cores (8-14 June 2014, Indiana University of PA)
  • Investigating Earth’s History and the Deep Biosphere 20-30 May, 2013, JOIDES Resolution)
  • Exploring Ocean Cores and the Geology of the Pacific Northwest (1-9 April 2013, JOIDES Resolution)
  • Introduction to Curriculum on Climate History for Minority Serving Institution Faculty (4-7 June 2012, Gulf Coast Repository)
  • Ship to Shore Science (23 May-2 June 2012, JOIDES Resolution)
  • SOR Reunion (31 July-2 August 2011, JOIDES Resolution, Curacao)
  • Cascadia CORK (5-17 September 2010, JOIDES Resolution)
  • Cores, CORKS and Hydrology on the Juan de Fuca Ridge (23 June-5 July 2009,JOIDES Resolution)
  • School of Rock 2008: Using Ocean Cores to Explore Past Climate Change (6-13 July 2008, Gulf Coast Repository)
  • School of Rock 2007: Exploring Ocean Cores (22-28 July 2007, Gulf Coast Repository)
  • School of Rock 2005: An oceangoing research experience for Earth and Ocean science teachers (29 October-14 November 2005, JOIDES Resolution)



Additional Information


Interested parties are encouraged to contact USSSP Education Manager Sharon Cooper at Information on additional IODP-related education and outreach activities can also be found on the JOIDES Resolution Educator Resources page.