ST. PETERSBURG - College of Marine Science PhD student Ryan Schenck successfully developed and implemented an outreach activity aimed at introducing junior kindergarten children to the field of oceanography. Ryan brought Callinectes sapidus (Blue Crab) specimens that he is currently using as part of his research examining circular single-stranded DNA viruses in Crustaceans. The children were able to hold them and learn about their importance to the Tampa Bay ecosystem and economy. They also learned about the role that viruses and bacteria play throughout the global oceans. Lastly, a 23-meter seine net was used to capture sea life present on Spa Beach. The children were able to comb through the net, after it was brought on shore, and put the animals in a temporary ‘touch tank’ for observation and hands on learning. This outreach activity took place over three days for three different junior kindergarten classes at Shorecrest Preparatory School. PhD student’s Ileana Freytes-Ortiz, Sean Beckwith, and CMS research assistant Jonelle Basso assisted Ryan during the outreach activity.
Read more at The Experiential School of Tampa Bay.