Exploring Marine Science Day 2014

Saturday October 25, 2014 marked the 12th anniversary of the Exploring Marine Science Day for middle school girls. The Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) partnered with the UM Rosenstiel School and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to host this day of interactive learning. Fifty young women from across South Florida spent their Saturday with Rosenstiel’s female faculty, students, and researchers to get an up close look at what it is like to be a marine scientist.

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  • The girls learned about corals with Stephanie Schopmeyer and helped with coral restoration by planting coral (skeleton) fragments on special nursery plantforms.
  • The amazing women from Marine Geosciences never disappoint! Amel Saied, Anna Ling, Kim Galvez, and Carolina Bardaro taught the girls how to squeeze water from mud samples and they explored some of the amazing organisms found in the ocean.
  • The highlight of the day is always drawing blood from a toadfish with Dr. Danielle McDonald and her students. They learned about red and white blood cells, plasma, and stress hormones.
  • Rana Fine taught the girls about ocean acidification through an experiment in which the girls test the pH of sea water, before and after the addition of a carbonated soda.
  • Aplysia! CARTHE 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.
  • The girls learned about density during a colorful experiment, mixing salt and freshwater with Meredith Jennings and Renellys Perez.
  • Josefina Olascoaga created a spinning ocean in the lab, complete with dyed ocean currents and eddies!
  • Dr. Lisa Beal completed the day with a powerful video of female oceanographers and a reminder to all of us, “Don’t let the boys have all the fun!”

Attendees had this to say about the event:

“Today’s program was awesome! I did not know there was so much science out in the ocean…”
“I love science and everything I did today was amazing”

“Today was one of the best days of my life!”

“I learned that there was a lot more to marine science than I thought.”

The activities are clearly fun and engaging but most importantly the girls left with a greater interest in science and knowing that anyone can be a scientist. Our scientists are also athletes, mothers, community leaders, and artists. According to the evaluations, the majority has an increased interest in studying science!

Thank you to all of the volunteers from CARTHE, RSMAS, and AAUW for making this day a success.

— Laura Bracken

(Video) Exploring Marine Science Day 2012

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.

Volunteers:
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.

Laura Bracken
Outreach Manager
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