This video was filmed on April 5, 2012 as part of the National Geographic Live! Lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.


National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic and wants to preserve the most famous ship in history from plunder and decay. Among the most accomplished and well known of the world's deep-sea explorers, Robert Ballard is best known for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and numerous other contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world. During his long career he has conducted more than 120 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology, and he is a pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines.


  • Introduction: to appreciate or to plunder? (start-00:58 min.)
  • Developing an underwater exploration technique (00:59-3:30 min.)
  • Finding the Titanic on a secret Navy mission (3:31-8:43 min.)
  • Returning to explore the wreck (8:44-10:19 min.)
  • Revealing damages to the ship (10:20-12:58 min.)
  • The future of the Titanic: an underwater museum (12:59-13:45 min.)
  • More debris fields: discovering ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas (13:46-17:00 min.)
  • Remembering the Titanic: a museum in Belfast, Ireland (17:01-20:29 min.)


 Strategies for Using Video in a Variety of Learning Environments

  • Have students preview several of the videos and choose the one they find most inspiring. Have students describe in writing a conversation they might have with the speaker(s).
  • Freeze the video on a relevant image. Have students observe details in the still image and jot down predictions of what the full video might address. Discuss students’ ideas before and after watching the video.
  • Pose an open-ended question before students watch the video, and have them discuss their ideas before and after in small groups.
  • Have students determine what they think the key message of this video is. Was the speaker effective in getting his or her message across?
  • Show a short clip to engage students during class, and then have students watch the full video at home and write a paragraph responding to the content or a question you give them.
  • Have students note statements that represent facts or opinions, including where it’s difficult to tell the difference. What further research might help distinguish facts vs. opinions? How might the speaker’s viewpoint compare with others’ viewpoints about a topic?
ancient Rome

civilization founded on the Mediterranean Sea, lasting from the 8th century BCE to about 476 CE.


harm that reduces usefulness or value.


remains of something broken or destroyed; waste, or garbage.


pre-eminent explorers and scientists collaborating with the National Geographic Society to make groundbreaking discoveries that generate critical scientific information, conservation-related initiatives and compelling stories.




protection from use.

Robert Ballard

(1942-present) oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.


remains of a sunken marine vessel.


luxury cruise ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912.