The Rosenstiel School has partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) annually to host a day of interactive learning for 6th and 7th grade girls. Saturday marked our 10th anniversary of Exploring Marine Science Day!
Fifty young women from across South Florida spent their Saturday with Rosenstiel’s female faculty, students, and researchers with hope of getting an up close look at what it is like to be a marine scientist.
• The girls started their day by drawing blood from a toadfish with Dr. Danielle McDonald and Rachel Heuer. They learned about red and white blood cells, plasma, and stress hormones.
• The amazing women from MGG never disappoint! Amel Saied, Monica Arienzo, and Amanda Oehlert taught the girls about ocean pH, ocean acidification and its effects on carbonate-producing organisms. The girls conducted experiments to see the process of acidification and its effects.
• Sea Grant agent Dr. Lisa Krimsky made plankton fun and exciting by teaching the girls to make their own plankton out of clay. The girls raced their creations in a giant tub of water – the team with the slowest time won.
• Tours of the R/V Walton Smith by Dr. Josefina Olascoaga, Katie Shulzitski, and Laura Bracken – including sitting in the Captain’s chair (thanks Captain Shawn).
• Aplysia! Outreach Manager Laura Bracken taught the girls about the importance of the amazing aplysia and the fascinating details of their life cycle, but the best part was actually getting to hold their slimy new friend.
• Melissa Pelaez introduced the girls to the wonderful world of aquaculture and even let the girls watch them feed the cobia, mahi mahi and pompano!
• The day concluded with a lesson on corals and climate change by Erica Towle and Rachel Silverstein. The girls then actually fed the corals and watched them eat under a microscope.
Quotes from their evaluations:
“This was so awesome!”
“I loved all of (the activities) because I learned new things and I had a lot of fun!”
“Thank you for doing this!”
The activities are clearly fun and engaging but most importantly we changed these young women’s views about science. According to the evaluations, the majority have an increased interest in studying!
Thank you to all of the volunteers from RSMAS and AAUW for making this day a success.
Monica Arienzo, Christine Beggs, Angela Colbert, Sharein Eltourky, Esther Goldstein, Rachel Heuer, Verona Hormann, Lisa Krimsky, Danielle McDonald, Amanda Oehlert, Josefina Olascoaga, Melissa Pelaez, Renellys Perez, Carol Richardson, Emily Riley, Amel Saied, Barbara Schwartz, Rachel Silverstein, Erica Towle, Noelle Van Ee.