Seven scientists and staff from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, participated in the Great American Teach-In on November 19.
Following on the recent success of the USGS' fifth annual Open House in St. Petersburg (see article, this issue), teachers in the Tampa Bay area were eager to have a scientist speak to their students. The Great American Teach-In was a special opportunity for USGS scientists to visit schools and share their knowledge and experiences with a younger generation.
Dennis Krohn and his wife taught a combined total of seven classes at McMullen Booth Elementary School in Clearwater, where their daughter is a third-grader.
At Campbell Elementary School, a marine-science school in St. Petersburg, Ellen Raabe taught three excited second-grade classes about the wetland ecosystem.
Kathryn Smith was ambitious and visited a marine-science class of high-school juniors and seniors at Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg. Using a PowerPoint presentation to describe the types of study conducted by the USGS, Smith emphasized research in Tampa Bay and goals for the USGS' Tampa Bay study. Additionally, she taught the students about models, and together they built a conceptual model for seagrass communities in Tampa Bay.
Dana Nielsen explained the Tampa Bay study to seventh- and eighth-grade science students at Meadowlawn Middle School in St. Petersburg, who were particularly impressed when he showed them his diving gear.
Kindergarten and first-grade classes at St. Paul's Catholic Church in St. Petersburg were taught geology by Jennifer Rosser. The students enjoyed sharing "science stories" and touching rocks, coral, and a manatee bone.
John Lisle, a strong supporter of science in the classroom, explained the work he is conducting in Antarctica and had interesting visuals to keep the students in five classes engaged during the presentation.
Gene Shinn spoke to college students at the University of South Florida about karst hydrology.
Volunteers determined the length of their visit and chose topics that they felt comfortable discussing. A few scientists decided to take their Open-House presentations to the schools for a demonstration. Students were fascinated to hear the scientists' stories and view pictures that document data collection in the field. Thank you to all the USGS scientists who participated in the teach-in, and to all who help with outreach activities throughout the year!
in this issue: Seamount Environments off California
Great American Teach-In: Tampa Bay