Carteret and Craven Co. students get hands-on with marine science

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–Local students are getting their hands wet for a week this summer in an effort to further interest in marine science along our coast.

Thirty-four students from Carteret and Craven counties are participating in the Brad Sneeden Marine Science Academy, meant to show students the research opportunities available around the coast.

“It’s a great time for them to get outside, see what we have going on here in Carteret County and get some ideas for what they can do so they can focus as they’re heading through high school on choosing a college,” Todd Williamson, Project Lead the Way teacher at Beaufort Middle School, said. “It’s something that can get them involved in this area.”

The program is open to middle schoolers.

“It’s hands-on and fun,” Isaac McPherson, rising 7th grader, said. “It keeps you away from your electronics.”

On Tuesday, the students worked with drones and macroinvertebrates at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum.

“We learned about how the denser the water gets, it goes underneath, and we learned about the seining nets,” Grace Egerton, rising 8th grader, said. “It made me realize how much I can help and how cool it is.”

Students are visiting area marine labs learning about water quality, marine life, coastal geology and how humans impact the barrier islands.

“It’s the fact that you never know whether you’ve gotten everything,” Jack McMahon, rising 8th grader, said. “You’re always discovering new things. You never know what you’re going to get when you walk in.”

Students must apply to the program and the application process typically opens in February of each school year.

Students will spend the day on Thursday at the Duke Marine Lab learning about research vessels. On Friday, the students will work with marine animals at the NC Aquarium and explore barrier islands.

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