USGS Educates K-12 Students, Public at Fifth Annual St. Petersburg Science Festival
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.
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).
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. St. Petersburg Science Center staff members Kathryn Smith, Alisha Ellis, Kira Barrera, Kara Doran, and Sandra Coffman also participated in the school day event.
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.
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.
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