Four scientists at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center visited 18 classrooms at local schools for the 2022 Great American Teach-In. They shared exciting coastal and marine hazards topics through presentations and hands-on activities to expose students to various science career options.
USGS St. Petersburg Scientists Present to Students for the Annual Great American Teach-In
The Great American Teach In is held across the nation every year to expose students to various career paths. The USGS St. Pete has participated in many Great American Teach-In events throughout the years, and our scientists are always enthusiastic to share their passions for science with aspiring future researchers.
Kara Doran, a Physical Scientist at USGS St. Pete, went to Richard O. Jacobsen Technical High School to talk about Coastal Change Hazards with two classes of marine science students. She discussed the importance of this research for understanding how extreme events shape our coastline, the risks these processes pose to coastal communities, and the methods used to validate our predictions of how our coast changes. Learn more about how USGS studies how the beach changes.
Research Physical Scientist Donya Frank-Gilchrist visited three classes at Lakeview Fundamental Elementary School to discuss wave dynamics, extreme storms, and how these processes alter coastal ecosystems. Donya used an erosion simulation model to demonstrate these processes and the role of various coastal protection measures to dissipate wave energy and reduce the wave forces on coastal structures. These activities help students understand the hazards posed by coastal change. While visiting the school, Donya also met with St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth Welch and explained the scientific priorities being addressed by USGS in our local community.
Legna Torres-Garcia, USGS Research Oceanographer, visited 3rd - 5th grade classes at Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Elementary School. She spoke with the students about what oceanographers do, including using scientific instruments, conducting field work, and using SCUBA diving to answer important questions about how the ocean and waves influence our coastlines. Legna also shared real video footage from recent work in Puerto Rico to give students a “live glimpse” of what it means to work as an oceanographer.
Research Geologist Julie Richey talked with five 1st grade and five 2nd grade classrooms at James. B. Sanderlin IB World School. She led an activity using microfossils to learn about past climate. The students also decorated Styrofoam cups that will be sent to the bottom of the ocean in an upcoming research cruise out into the Gulf of Mexico. The cups are expected to shrink during their journey to the bottom of the sea and will teach students about the immense pressure of the deep ocean. Learn more about how USGS studies climate change in the Gulf of Mexico.