Mission Tampa Bay IV Girls Underwater RoV Camp 2019

Fifty-two female students in Hillsborough County Public Schools had the chance of a lifetime to work alongside National Geographic Explorer Erika Bergman in building an underwater ROV and field testing the robot in Tampa Bay. The 3-day weekend experience which began Saturday, February 16, 2019 included learning labs at the Florida Aquarium and MOSI, a sleepover at the Florida Aquarium, and a field trip into Tampa Bay on the Bay Spirit II.

Thank you to all of the sponsors who help make Mission Tampa Bay possible.

There is no cost associated with the experience; thanks to the Tampa Bay STEM Network, Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Florida Aquarium, MOSI, and Hillsborough Education Foundation for providing financial and other resources for the event, valued at over $1,200 per student.

At no time in our country’s history has achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics— collectively referred to as STEM— been more important than it is today.

Although the novel work of universities and colleges has become essential to our way of life, our most valiant STEM efforts are taking place somewhere different— the public school classroom— where the ideas of future scientists, technicians, doctors and engineers are born and nurtured. For this reason students like these are truly the key to our country’s future. Bright young minds in our elementary, middle and high schools may one day manage a NASA mission to Mars, develop a new way to grow plants to feed our population, discover a more efficient means of transportation, or even cure a disease plaguing humankind.

Day 1 at MOSI: Build Day

Thank you to Senator Janet Cruz who stopped by and spoke words of encouragement to the group on their first day.

Thank you to elected officials Karen Perez, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes who also joined the girls in building over the weekend.

School Board Member Karen Perez learning from the girls about how to control the robot.

Teacher Tiffany Oliver, joined by the STEM team and School Board Member Cindy Stuart.

Thank you to the amazing staff at USF who joined the girls on the launch of their ROVs into the bay and cheered for their successes.

School Board Member Cindy Stuart joins girls in programming their robot.

Day 2 at FLAQ: Build day continues with sleepover at the aquarium.


National Geographic Explorer and manned submersible pilot

Erika Bergman is a submersible pilot, a virtual reality engineer, and an enthusiastic ocean explorer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Oceanography while working as a marine diesel engineer and a steam ship engineer. In 2013 she was named a National Geographic Explorer for her "Classrooms Under the Sea" Expedition -- live streaming video from submersibles. She is now the Chief Pilot for Aquatica Submarines and a Producer for National Geographic. Weaving together her passions for submersible engineering, rich media storytelling, and outreach, she founded GEECs, Global Engineering & Exploration Counselors, providing a network of engineering camps and mentorship to girls around the world.

Day 3 at FLAQ: Ready to launch into the bay.
Created By
Michelle Moore


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