NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the National Marine Fisheries Service/Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) partnered with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science and the Maritime and Science Technology (MAST) Academy to host an open house May 14th-16th. The three day event brought an estimated 1,300 people to Virginia Key to learn about a variety of scientific topics including hurricane research, climate science, oceanography, local fisheries, coral communities, and endangered species. NOAA and UM scientists were on-hand to describe their research projects, conduct hands-on experiments, and answer questions.
Over 700 students from fourteen local schools participated in the event. Small groups toured AOML, SEFSC, the MAST Academy Land SHARC and Weather on Wheels mobile outreach programs and the University of Miami’s new Marine Technology and Life Sciences Seawater Complex. Doors were then opened up to the public on Saturday, May 16th. Saturday’s event was an interactive experience for all age groups, with visitors rotating throughout each NOAA facility, the MAST mobile outreach buses, and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s experimental hatchery. Among the visitors were over 225 boy scouts and girl scouts from local troops, each of whom earned a special science patch for their participation in the event. school groups enjoyed the open house on Thursday and Friday, May 14th-15th.
This event brought marine and atmospheric science to the community and further enhanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. We’d like to thank all participants as well as our dedicated staff and volunteers for making this such an exciting event!
Originally Published in January 2015 by Shannon Jones