Broward County Students Discover Deep See Research
Broward County Florida: Deep-sea explorer and Nova Southeastern University professor Dr. Tamara Frank and marine science educator and Director of WhaleTimes, Inc. Ruth A. Musgrave introduced deep-sea research to 600 kindergarten to 6th grade students in Broward County Florida. Their “Deep See in the Deep Sea” classroom workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation, brought the deep sea into the classroom through exciting hands-on labs relating to Frank’s on-going deep-sea research.
“Wow” “No way!” “That’s crazy.” Sixth graders at NOVA Middle School students forgot about being cool and shared the enthusiasm that scientific discovery always brings about. Students from Higgins Sainvil’s science classes discovered how their color vision works through an experiment set up by Frank. Rather than lecture about color vision, Frank’s activity lets kids see with their own eyes how their brain and eyes work together to see and interpret color.
DNA the Musical? From population studies to identifying what mystery larvae will grow up to be, ocean researchers like Frank often rely on DNA studies. But how can the four chemicals that make up DNA create an anglerfish or giant blue whale? Musgrave and the third-grade students at Davie Elementary put the DNA chemicals to music in a loud, hilarious, though not necessarily melodious activity. Kids laughed and played their way through the discovery how only four chemicals, like musical notes, can create an endless array of living things.
Challenger Elementary ‘s fourth-grade students found out what it is like to see through the eyes of a deep-sea animal. Like all of Frank and
Musgrave’s activities, the hands-on portion brings the science to life. Frank and Musgrave have students hypothesize what might be the best color to camouflage a deep-sea animal. Putting their hypotheses to the test, students actually see colors the way a deep-sea animal does. This activity takes students’ knowledge to a whole new level of understanding and excitement. Students are shocked to discover their original hypotheses are usually wrong – very wrong! “Students also learn that there’s nothing wrong with a wrong hypothesis, and that the most important thing is to properly test a hypothesis, and then propose a new one based on what was discovered,” said Dr. Frank. All these topics, color vision, camouflage, and DNA are just a small part of Frank’s deep-sea research. “By showing students the variety of topics and animals, kids become excited and interested in ocean research,” said Musgrave.
According to Musgrave, another goal of the “Deep See in the Deep-Sea” program is to increase students’ STEM-identities and encourage them to see themselves as a scientist. “By interacting with a real life researcher and deep-sea explorer, students can envision themselves in a STEM career in the future,” adds Musgrave.
This is the third year Frank and Musgrave have shared “Deep See in the Deep-Sea” with Broward County students. They visited 76 classes and met 1,600 kindergarten to 6th grade students. Frank adds, “We have loved every minute. The students and teachers are amazing and so motivated to discover the deep sea.”
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“Deep See in the Deep Sea” classroom workshops funded by National Science Foundation as part of Award #1556279 “Collaborative Research: The evolution of bioluminescence and light detection in deep-sea shrimp (Oplophoridae and Sergestidae)”
About WhaleTimes: WhaleTimes, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created to provide kids easy access to marine science information. WhaleTimes has grown into a respected education organization, sought out by marine scientists and scientific organizations to create programs that highlight their research. WhaleTimes’ mission is to create a connection between the ocean, ocean research, the researchers, and students through formal and informal education programs. This connection ignites a passion for the ocean, inspires students to consider marine science as a career, and empowers kids to protect the ocean.
For more information, contact WhaleTimes at 486-5298, area code five O three