Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Summer at NOAA

This summer, I was given the special opportunity of assistant teaching at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Center in Seattle. The Northwest NOAA campus is a functioning location of NOAA consisting of wet labs, dry labs and a dive center. 
As an assistant teacher I was paired with a group of kids who were eager to learn more about Earth Sciences. The curriculum is structured around a "jigsaw scenario" where the kids are presented with a scientific mystery. Throughout the week, we give them academic tools they can use to solve the mystery. We teach them about the scientific method and how to collect data. We also teach them about the local environment and what we do when we are presented with real-life environmental situations. We also take them around to each lab where they are given relevant information that will help them solve the jigsaw scenario. We take them to the Mammals lab, Oceanography, Restoration, Hazmat, Fisheries, the National Weather Center and the NOAA Dive Center. 
The scientists are really engaging and excited to teach the kids about what they do. We were able to listen to whale calls, look at animal skeletons, do some chemistry experiments and even design our very own restoration plan. The best part of the day was snack time when the kids would ask to play Ocean Trivia and I would teach them random fun facts about the ocean. They were very interested to learn about what I do here at Clemson in our Conservation of Marine Resources lab. The best part of my job was leaving my groups of students knowing I had inspired more of the next generation to get involved with marine science and work towards a better future for our oceans!

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