The Mysterious Purple Blob

Did you know that only five percent of the Earth’s oceans are mapped? The Ocean Exploration Trust, a group comprised of marine scientists and students, is working specifically to map the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary in California. The crew often discovers new wildlife on their expeditions in this biodiverse region nicknamed the “Galapagos of North America,” but in 2016, they encountered a very peculiar and mysterious life form: a luminous purple blob.

Produced by Samantha Zamora, Marc Barba, Allicia Dean, Jaden Dawson, Riana Teran, Jade Bobeda, Keala Naipo, and Martita Ureno de Arias at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Mentor support provided by Peggy Pico. Instruction provided by SRL Connected Educator Bernadine Judson.

Special thanks to the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary for the opportunity to explore the natural, cultural and educational resources being preserved for visitors from around the country and world.

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PBS NewsHour STEM Student Reporting Labs connect students with an innovative STEM video journalism curriculum and a network of public broadcasting and science mentors to develop STEM literacy, digital media, critical thinking and communication skills while producing unique stories from a youth perspective.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare.”

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions in education. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, more than 128 public radio and television stations have joined forces with more than 1,700 partners and at-risk schools across 48 states and one territory.


William Swift | STEM Coordinating Producer

Leah Clapman | Managing Editor

Elis Estrada | Director

Jordan Vesey | Associate Producer

Victor Fernandez | Editor

Adelyn Baxter | Digital Producer

Kristy Choi | Production Assistant

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