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The Next Generation of Scientists

The Next Generation of Scientists

SS Fishing Gr. 5 8Henry Stanley of Port Aransas bonds with a juvenile black drum during a field trip to the CCA Marine Development Center operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department during the Summer Science program. Photo credit: Kylie Holt.Students from across the state and country participated in this summer’s Summer Science field program. The four week-long sessions provided a total immersion into the realm of marsh grasses and molecules. Each program was led by university faculty, staff and graduate students, who took the students into the local habitats and the laboratories at UTMSI.

Dr. Ken Dunton started the program nine years ago, targeting children entering grades 3rd – 8th. Students spend the week with scientists learning how to conduct marine science and performing exciting hands-on experiments. The program also enlists the help of undergraduate and graduate students to learn about their research in trending topics such as fishery management, marine pollution, and changes in climate. As undergraduate Martha Romero states, “Seeing kids’ faces light up when they understood the concept of the day was the best part.”

A big thank you goes to our lead teachers Marilyn Cook, Julie Findley, Cliff Strain, and Jill Smith. Generous support was provided by the Port Aransas Independent School District, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Jim Cravens, City of Port Aransas, Port Aransas Boatmen, Kiwanis Club of Port Aransas, and many volunteers.

SS gr 3 4 Charlies Past ColleenColleen Simpson, the Preserves Manager for the City of Port Aransas, shows the 3rd and 4th graders how marsh ecosystems function at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture. Photo Credit: Kylie Holt.

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