Florida Tech has a Science Bus. This refurbished recreational vehicle filled with microscopes, computers, seine nets, water quality instrumentation, a meteorological station and other equipment made its first foray to a school in December when it visited Ocean Breeze Elementary in Indian Harbor Beach.
Operated by Robert Weaver, director of the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute and associate professor of ocean engineering, and Kelli Hunsucker, research assistant professor at the Center for Corrosion and Biofouling Control, the vehicle allows for hands-on educational experiences and demonstrations.
“Our goal is to be able to use the Science Bus to disseminate information to the community about important Indian River Lagoon topics such as living shorelines, living docks and muck,” Hunsucker said.
At Ocean Breeze, the Science Bus team, which also includes volunteer undergraduate and graduate students, met with members of the school’s first-grade Ocean Reef Club and had them undertake a series of activities focused on the marine environment and the Indian River Lagoon: salinity, density, sediments, plankton, and oysters.
Next up is a visit to Indialantic Elementary’s Ocean Reef Club in February.