Admiral Farragut Academy was once again happy to participate with the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Community Outreach Program. The BLUE Ocean Film Festival, a non-profit organization using the power of film, visual arts, entertainment and science to inspire ocean stewardship around the world, had its first year in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2014. The festival alternates between Monaco and St. Petersburg.
In partnership with BLUE Executive Director Debbie Kinder, Admiral Farragut Academy has also partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Climate Program Office (NOAA) to participate in their “Message in a Buoy” Drifter Program. The program teaches students how to deploy, track, and analyze data collected by a scientific ocean drifter. Students had the amazing and unique opportunity to learn how to deploy this drifter with NOAA and Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) scientists aboard the FIO’s Research Vessel, the R/V Weatherbird. While on the research ship, Dr. Emily Smith of NOAA, taught Mrs. Deitche’s Marine Science students how to analyze water quality, collect biological diversity data, and take plankton samples.
During the visit to the R/V Weatherbird, due to Coast Guard regulations and strong winds, the students were unable to go out to sea, therefore, all activities were performed dockside on the ship. When completed, Dr. Smith and the crew took the students to the Center for Ocean Technology at the University of South Florida’s College for Marine Science for a tour of their facilities. Students were able to witness a glider as it was operating in a test pool. The glider and drifter are just two of the electronic navigation and remotely operated vehicles that are currently being studied in class.
“This was a perfect opportunity for the students to witness real scientists – mechanical engineers, oceanographers, marine biologists – working collectively with equipment that we have only discussed in class,” said Mrs. Deitche. “The students were able to ask questions, see the equipment in action and even touch or work with the equipment. This is definitely something they will remember.”
To view photos from the trip, please view our SmugMug Gallery.