Bechtel Teams With Ocean Exploration Trust to Advance STEM Education

15 September 2012 RESTON, Virginia

Company Sponsors Teachers and Students Studying at Sea

Bechtel announced today the company is sponsoring nine teachers and five students participating in a pair of 2012 Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) programs that promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to a global audience. Both the Educator-at-Sea Program and the Honors Research Program combine classroom learning with ocean exploration and provide students with an exciting opportunity to learn more about careers that incorporate STEM.

“The mission of the Trust is to inspire the next generation of explorers,” said Dr. Robert Ballard, president of Ocean Exploration Trust. “Our partnership with Bechtel supports our mutual goal of strengthening the STEM pipeline through educational and research programs.”

This year teachers and students in the programs attend the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography for several weeks, where they work with scientists and engineers to learn about oceanography and the scientific research process. After completing an onshore research project, they board the exploration vessel E/V Nautilus to study the geology, biology, archeology, and chemistry of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Bechtel engineer Zenhar Marolia will participate in a portion of the at-sea expedition to share his experiences as a civil engineer with the teachers and students. 

Following the expedition, the teachers will develop lessons plans and classroom activities based on their first-hand experience at sea. Bechtel is sponsoring the following teachers and students in this year’s programs:


  • Cory Culbertson, University High School, Normal, Illinois
  • Sam Garson, Mount Rainier High School, Des Moines, Washington
  • Susie Hill, Nauticus Museum, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Bonnie Keller, Lanier Middle School, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Eric Lewis, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, California
  • Juan Pinto, Energized for STEM Academy Inc. Middle School, West Houston, Texas
  • Jason Pittman, Hollin Meadows Science and Math Focus School, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Noelle Turner, Bearden High School, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Krystal Waltman, Southwest Schools , Houston, Texas


  • Julia Arthur, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Arlington, Virginia
  • Sean FitzHoward, Lowell High School, San Francisco, California
  • Ellexus Morgan, Southwest High School, Houston, Texas
  • Marisa Patrick, Mount Rainier High School, Des Moines, Washington
  • Diana Roman, Southwest High School, Houston, Texas

As a global leader in the engineering industry, Bechtel supports five leading nonprofit international organizations that foster STEM-related learning and improve the quality of life for people through the company’s engineering and construction skills. In addition to Ocean Exploration Trust, the company supports with volunteers and grants, Engineers Week®, Engineers Without Borders, FIRST® Robotics, and Junior Achievement®.

About Ocean Exploration Trust

The Ocean Exploration Trust is committed to exploring the world's oceans in search of both its natural and human history and was founded in 2007 by Dr. Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who discovered the Titanic’s wreckage. The Trust brings together technical and scientific expertise and coordinates endeavors that consistently make cutting-edge discoveries. The Trust’s mission is to inspire young people to pursue educational and research opportunities and foster support from general public to preserve the world’s oceans.