GCOOS O/E lead and MBON collaborator Chris Simoniello has conducted youth outreach activities at several science festivals in 2015 and 2016.
Simonello participated in at the October 2015 St. Petersburg Science Festival, held in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s annual open house, Marine Quest. Click here to download the Posters/signs. She developed and conducted hands-on learning activities with approximately 200 elementary school children (grade 4 and 5) on Friday, the school day and approximately 5,000 people on Saturday, which is open to the general public.
The students extracted DNA and created “Bottles of Awesomeness,” played with polymers, learned about the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, laminar and turbulent flow, and the large-scale challenges of dealing with marine debris. GCOOS members participating in the event included scientists from the University of South Florida, Florida Sea Grant College Program, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Duke Energy, Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and Bay Point Middle School Center for Advancement of the Sciences and Technology.
In April 2016, MBON-related activities were conducted for approximately 400 GK-5 students and their families during the annual Bay Point Elementary Family Science Night, coordinated by Chris Simoniello GCOOS/MBON O/E. Five classroom lessons with hands-on components related to marine biodiversity and the MBON project were given to G3-5 students.