Grief at the Reef

Dr. Erinn Muller
MOTE Marine Lab
Florida Teen Science Café


 “What is a coral’s favorite music show?…Live Rock!”

1024px-habitats_at_kingman_reef_-_peerj-81-fig-2eDr. Erinn Muller came out to present about “The Grief at the Reef” at our January Teen Science Cafe and was a complete success! While free pizza and door prizes are (usually) the primary incentive to attend, I really think high school students wanted to learn about OCEAN ACIDIFICATION more than anything. Maybe not – we’ll never really know but, we do know that for the first time ever in Teen Science Cafe history (albeit its only 1 year old), the room was full!

Erinn did an amazing job of explaining even fairly complex concepts. She was able to explain chemistry to me – a job none have triumphed over before. Her “I go to Indonesia all the time” anecdote also gave her presentation a whole new level of nonchalant cool vibe. I think I might just have to study coral now to… darn!

In all seriousness though, her hands-on-activity was crazy interesting. Using pH indicator, water, and a drinking straw, the entire process of ocean acidification was covered and in a really super easy way. Who knew blowing bubbles could be so educational?! Via the bubble blowin’, we added CO2 to the mix and actually made our cup of water straight up acid. Not actually, it was diluted, but still – it was rad. I actually carried out this same activity in a presentation I did for Youth Service America and it, again, was a huge success and super easy to do too!

Overall a massive success and we’ll see you in February!

Written by Bella Genta, Mote Marine Laboratory Teen SciCafe Youth Leader

Hands on Activity

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