Dr. Miles Sundermeyer, Associate Professor at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology, recently stepped outside of the college classroom to discuss life as a physical oceanographer with junior high school students in his home town of Sandwich, MA during the STEM Academy’s inaugural “Exploration & Discovery Day.”
Over 500 students attended the April 6 event, which included more than 36-hands-on workshops in a variety of fields. The program was designed to showcase how real-life 21st century STEM-related careers rely on skills already being developed at 7th and 8th grade levels. The program also exposed students to the innovative career paths constantly being developed.
“The Sandwich STEM academy goes well beyond traditional classroom education, incorporating project-based learning across disciplines, and providing students a rich array of opportunities to engage with the community in ways that connect their classroom experiences with real-world problems and solutions,” says Dr. Sundermeyer.
In addition to talking about the aspects of a career as a marine scientist, Sundermeyer gave a show-and-tell presentation of various instruments used to conduct oceanographic research. One particular lab demonstration involved a "Weather in a Tank" rotating table, which is used in the teaching of oceanography, meteorology, and climatology. The demonstration on ocean/atmosphere dynamics helped students understand how models, theory, and observations are all used together to develop knowledge and understanding about the world oceans.