Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

Pre-Service Teachers Join Math Faculty at NC Aquarium Event

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Sixteen students enrolled in Watson College undergraduate programs joined math faculty as volunteers at a Family Science Day event held at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher on April 17. The event featured hands-on activities and demonstrations shared by nonprofit and community organizations.

Ginger Rhodes, associate professor of mathematics and statistics and coordinator of WCE’s secondary MAT program, said the event was designed to promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) by showcasing science in ways that are fun for adults and children.

The WCE students joined Rhodes, associate professor Allison Toney and lecturer Elizabeth Creath at a station titled, “Did you know the chameleon’s tongue can beat the fastest sports car?” They explained that a chameleon’s tongue is half of its body length and helped children measure their height and use proportional reasoning to determine how long their tongues would be if they were chameleons. Participants also learned that a frog can jump 20 times its body length and an ant can lift an object 50 times its weight. UNCW volunteers showed children and families how to use ratios and proportions to discover what they could do if they had the amazing abilities of animals.

Students who volunteered at the aquarium event are enrolled in elementary education, education of young children, special education and secondary mathematics education programs at the Watson College.

Additional community partners at the event were Airlie Gardens, Boy Scouts of America, Cape Fear Audubon Society, Cape Fear Museum, Cape Fear Community College Marine Technology Club, Frog Watch USA, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville, North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center and the United States National Whitewater Center. 

As an official 2016 North Carolina Science Festival event, the aquarium's Family Science Day is among hundreds of community-based events showcasing STEM activities for the citizens of North Carolina.

Founded in 2010, the North Carolina Science Festival is the first statewide science festival in the United States. During a two-week celebration each spring, the festival brings hundreds of events (hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, businesses and other community organizations) together under one banner to recognize the economic, educational and cultural impact of science throughout North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.