Hillsborough 4-H Marine Ecology Day Camp!
This year, the Hillsborough County 4-H Program was awarded a STEM grant from HughesNet, allowing us to put on a Marine Ecology Day Camp, in partnership with The Florida Aquarium. Junior and Intermediate-age 4-H youth were invited to participate in the two-day program that focused on Tampa Bay and the State of Florida’s unique wildlife and ecosystems, while applying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical activities and lessons. The camp featured a classroom day, in which youth participated in discussions and activities that highlighted the way that Florida’s climate, geography, and wildlife interact with each other as an ecosystem. The second day was spent at The Florida Aquarium, including a guided tour and hands-on activities that focused on the rehabilitation and conservation of sea turtles in the Tampa Bay area. Youth were able to ask questions and learn about possible careers in marine science and what steps they would have to take in their education in order to achieve those dreams. Seventeen youth enrolled in the camp and were surveyed on their experiences. 94% reported they learned and gained better understanding on how STEM can be used in their careers. 88% reported that they wanted to learn more about STEM projects. 82% were more aware of science-based careers and 83% reported a desire to learn how to use other technologies.