In 2018, twelve Dixon Scholars (plus chaperones) will travel to Washington DC to attend the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Our scholars will present findings from their citizen science projects at the Bright STaRS Youth Poster session via oral presentations and graphic posters. Twenty-four thousand international scientists and one hundred youth participants attend the AGU conference making this field trip an opportunity of a lifetime.
Dixon students prepared for the field trip by working with professional scientists, writing abstracts, constructing posters and practicing how they will present their research to the science community and their peers. They partnered with Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Bream Fishermen’s Association, and Elizabeth Eubanks Lead Gardener at Innisfree Hotels’ From the Ground Up Community Garden and Master Teacher/Educator Citizen’s Science Project.
The students collected data about water quality, fish species, habitat quality and pollution sources in local streams. They also gathered data in Gulf Coast bays to prove the existence of microplastics which are harming local marine life and contaminating ocean waters, sediments, and sands. They shared this data with The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
They also worked with the apiarist at Innisfree Hotels’ From the Ground up Garden, Dan Killingsworth, to identify garden pollinators and gathered data about how they sustain our food sources.
Witnessing other students present at an international science conference while engaging with their peers and scientists will be invaluable. Our scholars will develop networking skills as well as have life-changing travel experience in our nation’s capital city. While they are there, students will visit national monuments, historic sites, and museums. Outcomes may include scientific internships, college grants as well as career inspiration.