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15 LOCAL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN "GIRLS IN SCIENCE DAY" AT ROOKERY BAY RESERVE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2013

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

15 LOCAL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN "GIRLS IN SCIENCE DAY" AT ROOKERY BAY RESERVE

GISD RB

~Hands-on activities teach students about marine life at the reserve~

NAPLES – Fifteen Collier County students middle school students particpated in Rookery Bay Reserve's "Girls in Science Day," a day of hands-on learning at the reserve.

Friday's activities included a boat trip to Keewaydin Island, where students learned about shorebirds, sea turtles and dunes. Participants also had the opportunity to dissect and compare the anatomy of sharks and bony fish to learn about their advantages in the marine world.

In addition to the boat trip, students studied estuary species, learned about Geographic Information Systems technology and other research tools, participated in a scavenger hunt and viewed beach-nesting birds through binoculars and spotting scopes. Students also had a picnic lunch on Keewaydin Island.  

"Girls in Science day is a great way to spark girls' interest in pursuing science-related careers," said Rookery Bay Reserve director Gary Lytton. "At Rookery Bay Reserve, we strive to educate Florida's youth on the importance of marine life through outreach activities like today."

The reserve extends invitations to Collier County Public Schools and students were chosen based on their application essays and teacher recommendation. 

The mission of the Rookery Bay Reserve’s education team is to deliver positive, rewarding experiences that increase awareness and understanding of the value of coastal ecosystems. Programs offered by the reserve are often hands-on and exploratory. This message is delivered in a variety of program offerings.

Rookery Bay Reserve was established in 1978 as a partnership between the state of Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The reserve is one of 28 research reserves operating across the nation. The Department's Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas manages Rookery Bay Reserve, along with 41 aquatic preserves, two other National Estuarine Research Reserves and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. For more information about the reserve, please visit www.rookerybay.org.  For more information on DEP’s Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal.