Plainville High School seniors Jamilex Rosado-Rivera and Briana Lugo, together with high school science teacher Ken Fusco, spent part of their summer vacation at the Marine Technology for Teachers and Students (MaTTS) Project Summer Institute held at the University of Rhode Island's Inner Space Center in July. The week-long institute, designed for student / teacher teams, included the building and deploying of sensor based instruments including hydrophones, remotely operated vehicles and observation buoys, field exercises, and career exploration activities. Students and teachers from across Connecticut and Rhode Island came together for the intensive week-long program.
The summer institute is part of a year-long professional development program for high school teachers. According to the MaTTS website, the project focuses on providing opportunities for teachers and students to experience new technologies related to exploring the global ocean and discover pathways to marine careers using these tools. As part of the professional development program, Fusco receives training and engages colleagues and students at the high school to gain additional experience in marine and ocean science technologies.
Rosado-Rivera, who intends to study engineering after graduation, thoroughly enjoyed her experience at the Ocean Science and Technology Institute. "Our day began at 7:00 AM and we were busy until 9:00 PM. We participated in everything from testing ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) to sampling the rocky shore near the URI campus. At the end of each day we were also able to blog about the day's events," she explained. "My favorite activity was conducting 'watch standing' where we would gather in a large room with a giant screen to watch and log what the ROVs found during their explorations. We saw many things including white lobsters, whales, and other sea life. I also enjoyed meeting the other students and teachers that were there and interacting with people who also have an interest in oceanography."
Lugo, who plans to study biotechnology engineering after graduation also enjoyed the ROV activities, as well as other building projects which included hydrophones, cameras and digital thermometers. "We also participated in “speed dating” where we met briefly with many different individuals who have careers in engineering, oceanography, marine biology and more, to learn about the different ocean related science careers," she explained. "I also liked that the program was very hands-on. We actually got to build the devices and meet the engineers, oceanographers, and marine biologists throughout the week."
"With the latest push from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to have students 'do' science, not just learn about science, this program really gave Jamilex and Briana a taste of what real scientists do, and a chance to explore some of the careers in science with an emphasis on oceanography," said Fusco.
"This was a terrific opportunity for Mr. Fusco and two of our wonderful and intelligent young ladies, Briana and Jamilex ("Jami"). Mr. Fusco's passion for marine science is contagious to his students, and I am very pleased that he pursued this opportunity through URI. I am proud to witness the real world successes of our students as they prepare for life after PHS," noted Plainville High School Principal, Steven LePage.
-Posted on October 30, 2015 at 02:19 PM
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