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Outreach

USGS Educates K-12 Students, Public at Fifth Annual St. Petersburg Science Festival



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Collecting mini-sediment cores, building up a coastline to endure storm surge from hurricane winds, identifying manatees via scar patterns, and hopping aboard wave runners—these hands-on demonstrations had attendees of the Fifth Annual St. Petersburg Science Festival excited about U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science.

More than 10,000 attendees visited the festival, held October 16–17, 2015, at Poynter Park, adjacent to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus in St. Petersburg, Florida. The annual science event engages children, families, and the public in hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities. The festival also emphasizes the role of the arts in innovation, broadening the traditional STEM focus to STEAM (STEM plus the arts).

Students at the “School Day Sneak Peek” event visited the USGS exhibit to learn how researchers use scarring patterns to identify manatees.
Above: Students at the “School Day Sneak Peek” event visited the USGS exhibit to learn how researchers use scarring patterns to identify manatees. [larger version]

The USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center partnered with the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center for Friday’s “School Day Sneak Peek” event. Kaitlin Kovacs (Wetland and Aquatic Research Center) spearheaded the exhibit “Manatee Identification,” a hands-on activity that targeted two Florida science curriculum standards and introduced hundreds of fifth graders to the USGS manatee research and photo-identification program (http://fl.biology.usgs.gov/Manatees/manatees.html). St. Petersburg Science Center staff members Kathryn Smith, Alisha Ellis, Kira Barrera, Kara Doran, and Sandra Coffman also participated in the school day event.

Festival attendees collected mini sediment cores and peered through microscopes at diatoms
Above: Festival attendees collected mini sediment cores and peered through microscopes at diatoms as part of the USGS activities at the 2015 St. Petersburg Science Festival. [larger version]

For Saturday’s event, the St. Petersburg Science Center presented three more booths: “Secrets of the Seafloor,” “Understanding the Big Picture with Little Friends,” “Coastal Hazards and Change,” and displayed two wave runners and the research vessel (R/V) Sallenger. Twenty staff members volunteered for Saturday’s event, including Kira Barrera, Elsie McBride, Nicole Khan, Caitlin Reynolds, Jaimie Little, Shelby Stoneburner, Chris Smith, Joseph Long, Tim Nelson, Soupy Dalyander, Kara Doran, Davina Passeri, Robert Jenkins, Nancy DeWitt, Max Tuten, Chelsea Stark, Jennifer Miselis, Steven Douglas, and Joseph Terrano. Kira Barrera organized the USGS exhibitors and volunteers.

USGS scientists led festival attendees in hands-on activities to learn about USGS research programs, including coastal hazards and change.
Above: USGS scientists led festival attendees in hands-on activities to learn about USGS research programs, including coastal hazards and change. [larger version]

The national Science Festival Alliance website, which includes the St. Petersburg festival, offers more information about science and technology festivals.

Visit the St. Petersburg Science Festival Facebook page for video, photos, and more details about the festival.


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Staff Educate Students and the Public at the 2014 St. Petersburg Science Festival in Florida
Jan. / Feb. 2015
USGS Plays Leadership Role in 3rd Annual St. Petersburg (Florida) Science Festival, Adding Sneak Peek School Day and Mentoring New Science Festival Initiatives
Jan. / Feb. 2014
USGS Contributes to Success of St. Petersburg Science Festival in Florida
Jan. / Feb. 2013

Related Websites
Science Festival Alliance website
festival alliance
St. Petersburg Science Festival Facebook page
St. Petesburg Science Festival
St. Petersburg Science Festival
St. Petersburg Science Festival

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in this issue:

Fieldwork
Investigating the Offshore Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System in Southeastern Alaska

Eroding Coastal Bluffs on Alaska’s North Slope

Artificial-Gas-Seep Test Produces 3D Images of Bubble Plumes

Sandwich Beach Cam Established

Spotlight on Sandy
Hurricane Sandy: Three years later

Outreach
USGS St. Pete Center Participates in Great American Teach-In

Fifth Annual St. Petersburg Science Festival

Meetings
A-ICC Training Courses on Ocean Acidification

Publications
Dec. / Jan. Publications

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