STEM Opportunities for Underrepresented Populations

Dieuwertje Kast is the STEM Programs Manager for the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project. Through her efforts, she has provided STEM instruction to over 23,000 underrepresented minority students, 600 educators, 20 school principals, and countless community members. She coordinates supplemental science lessons for K-5 across a gamut of schools through the Wonderkids and Young Scientists Programs, and teaches college-preparatory science classes to high school students through USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a college preparatory program for low-income youth.


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Making Ocean Science Accessible to Everyone

Dijanna Figueroa has made a career of exploring the mysteries of the deep. She was featured in James Cameron’s documentary Aliens of the Deep, which follows Cameron and NASA scientists as they explore the some of the deepest parts of the ocean and learn about the unique life forms that inhabit those spaces. Recently, Figueroa has become an advocate for STEAM education—adding art and design to the science, technology, engineering, and math equation.


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NMEA Regional Event

Join National Marine Educator Association (NMEA) members for a hands-on conservation research opportunity on Saturday, June 15th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Begin with a brief presentation on the fish hawk, or osprey, with staff naturalist/biologist Greg Kearns of Patuxent River Park. The experience continues on the water for approximately two hours, stopping at several osprey nests where 6-8 week-old chicks will be collected, banded, and released back to their nest. Each banded chick will be weighed and its band number recorded for research purposes. The boat is scheduled to return to the dock around 4:00 p.m.


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From Internship to Marine Educator

I am in this career and where I am today because someone took a chance on me. In 1998, I was working as chemical compliance technician for a local army base. I had worked there almost three years and I hated the job. I realized it was time for a change. I saw an ad in a local newspaper for an Environmental Education Intern at Pickering Creek Audubon Center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. At this point in my life, I had done a little education. I had done some work in local schools in college and spent a few months helping with sleepovers at the Maryland Science Center.


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An End-of-Year Letter to my Squiddos

This is a tough time of year…all those projects and tests! Leaving friends, family, and teachers who care about you as you move to the next adventure. Mother’s and Father’s Day, and Graduation gifts, stuff for college…it can be daunting! Maybe I can help you look at this a little differently…


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Supporting Healthy Waterways One Boater at a Time

It all started at the tidepools on the Washington Coast. The seastars, barnacles, sea anemones, crabs, and limpets – so many things to see! I had so many questions. What did they eat? How did they keep from drying out? How did they stay attached to the rocks? I am grateful that I had the chance to visit the coast and that my parents would encourage me to seek answers to these questions. Fast forward many years, I am still in awe of the ocean and the life it supports.


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Sharks, Stewardship, and STEM – Lessons with Lindsay Laughner

Summer had just begun. I was cleaning up my first grade classroom in Bloomington, Indiana, when a Facebook post notification appeared on my computer. Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Founder and Expedition Leader posted that he had talked with a classroom and offered to Skype with others. Would he be willing to talk with my students, in a small school in Indiana? Of course!


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