Join Mote's Ocean Technology Club — a new program that will allow Sarasota- and Manatee-county high schoolers and teachers to learn and apply science and technology skills through the mentorship of marine researchers at Mote.
The selected student and teacher members will explore oceanography, physics, chemistry, electronic circuitry and computer programming through real-world examples and applications — from deploying monitoring devices in local environments to working closely with Mote scientists using robotic gliders to monitor for harmful algae.
The club will be the first of its kind in Florida, led by Mote’s Ocean Technology Research Program with the support of Mote’s Education programs and Aquarium. Collaborators include the University of Hawaii, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS).
Ocean Technology Club members will be selected through a competitive application process and invited to participate at no cost.
High-school students and science and technology teachers can apply now for the club’s inaugural fall season starting in late-August 2016. A spring 2017 season will follow. Each season will allow approximately 15 highly motivated students and three-to-five teachers to participate in twice-monthly meetings and activities at Mote’s Sarasota campus. Meetings will last about three hours each, and exact meeting times will be based in-part on applicants’ availability.
Deadline is Aug. 22.
When: Club meetings will be held twice a month during the school year beginning in fall 2016, with additional activities and field trips as needed. First Club meeting will be Monday, Sep. 12.
Where: Club meetings will be held at Mote, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL, with associated activities in and around the Sarasota area, including Phillippi Creek, the tentative field site for Fall 2016 projects.
Why: To motivate students to pursue S.T.E.M. careers and to foster a sense of environmental stewardship in regional youth. In addition, student-built sensors will be placed in Sarasota Bay, providing real-time data that will improve our scientific understanding of Sarasota Bay processes.
How: Club activities will include:
• The design, optimization, and maintenance of fully functional, low-cost, research-grade oceanographic sensors for fundamental oceanographic measurements in Phillippi Creek. Several sensors will provide real-time data to regional and global scientists interested in circulation, water quality, and wildlife habitats. A display will also be constructed alongside a sensor installation at Mote Aquarium to inform Aquarium visitors of club members' activities.
• Integration of sensor-obtained data streams to the GCOOS “citizen science” data portal for interested parties to view in real-time over the internet.
• Hands-on experience with Mote’s AUV and ROV.
• The construction and optimization of low-cost, miniature AUVs and AUV-mounted sensors from drinking water bottles and embedded computers.
STEM concepts to be taught include oceanography (salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, circulation), physics (pressure, buoyancy, center of gravity, aerodynamics), marine architecture and engineering (propulsion, power systems, waterproofing, glider operation), circuit and electronics design (servos, LEDs, switches, batteries), computer programming (Arduino, Beaglebone Black, Python), and 3-D printing.