ST. PETERSBURG, FL - A group of 47 students from Stewart Magnet Middle School along with teachers and chaperones visited the College of Marine Science on Friday, December 1st, 2017, to learn oceanographic research practices directly from the scientists themselves. The magnet school is STEM focused with electives that include aerospace, engineering, environmental, robotics, computer, and video game design. Their partnerships include NASA, NOAA, Tuskegee Airmen, U.S. Air Force, FBI and more.
Representing the Center for Ocean Technology (COT), the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS), and the Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Lab, students, faculty and researchers of CMS led three groups of Stewart Middle students around the halls and the docks of the peninsular campus in Bayboro Harbor. Members of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) enriched the tour with explanations of the research fleet and an in-depth tour of the Weatherbird II, FIO’s flagship research vessel.
The introduction to the day’s studies was given by Frank Muller-Karger who has worked with teachers from Stewart Middle to educate students on marine science and technology for the past 18 years. Dr. Muller-Karger teaches remote sensing and directs the IMaRS group. After a tour of the Weatherbird and a hands-on demonstration of marine sensors, the students were provided exercises on sea floor mapping and remote sensing of environmental parameters useful to understanding biodiversity. The young students kept the faculty and researchers on their toes with some astute questions, offering the prospect of at least a few future oceanographers.
Written By: Sean Beckwith