2017-07-06 / Island Focus

Summer science


Clockwise from upper right: Evan DeHart of Port Aransas handles a shrimp aboard the University of Texas Marine Science Institute research vessel, the Katy; from left, students Henry Stanley of Corpus Christi, Lindsay Driver of Sun City, Ariz., and Madison Hallmark of Port Aransas dissect a shark; teacher Cliff Strain leads a group of young scientists on a kayaking trip at Corpus Christi Pass, where they learned about mangroves; students show reusable bags they made from their own t-shirts while also learning about how to reduce beach litter; naturalist Angelina Dichiera shows a trawl catch to students; and students peer through microscopes while learning about various lab equipment. Clockwise from upper right: Evan DeHart of Port Aransas handles a shrimp aboard the University of Texas Marine Science Institute research vessel, the Katy; from left, students Henry Stanley of Corpus Christi, Lindsay Driver of Sun City, Ariz., and Madison Hallmark of Port Aransas dissect a shark; teacher Cliff Strain leads a group of young scientists on a kayaking trip at Corpus Christi Pass, where they learned about mangroves; students show reusable bags they made from their own t-shirts while also learning about how to reduce beach litter; naturalist Angelina Dichiera shows a trawl catch to students; and students peer through microscopes while learning about various lab equipment. More than 260 kids took part in the Summer Science program organized by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Working throughout much of June, children learned field and laboratory skills involving use of underwater microphones, small rockets, seining, kayaking and remotely operated vehicles.


Courtesy photos provided by UTMSI Courtesy photos provided by UTMSI They visited sites of historic and environmental significance such as Redfish Bay, the Lydia Ann Lighthouse and the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture.

“This immersive program gives students entering the third through eighth grades the opportunity to engage in hands-on marine science activities,” said a news release issued by the marine science institute.

The program has grown a lot since its inception in 2008, according to the release.

Summer Science activities and lessons were taught by faculty, graduate students and scientific staff from the marine science institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Port Aransas community.

Port Aransas residents with years of teaching experience at the elementary and middle school levels were among those helping out. They included Marilyn Cook, Julie Findley, Jill Smith and Cliff Strain.

University of Texas undergraduate students Francesca Caruso, Jenelle Estrada, Ka’ohi Kawahigashi and Clay McClure were “an invaluable part of the program, serving as teaching assistants, the release said.

“Along with program coordinator Meaghan Cuddy, assistant coordinator Nicole Pringle, program director Dr. Ken Dunton and activity instructors, UT Summer Science (provided) budding young scientists with an experience that is educational, engaging and, above all, fun,” the release said.

The program concluded on June 30.

More information on the program can be found online at https://utmsi.utexas.edu/visit/summer-science/ port-aransas-texas and at https://www.facebook.com/ UTSummerScience/.





Jasper Howe of Corpus Christi uses a refractometer to measure the water salinity at the Lydia Ann Lighthouse on a recent day as part of the Summer Science program run by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. 
Courtesy photo Jasper Howe of Corpus Christi uses a refractometer to measure the water salinity at the Lydia Ann Lighthouse on a recent day as part of the Summer Science program run by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Courtesy photo

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