MAST@FIU Program Teaches Youngsters About Fish In Florida’s Biscayne Bay

By on April 18, 2016

Some Florida high school sophomores and juniors have a neat opportunity to learn about the fishes living in Biscayne Bay, according to a release from Florida International University. Those involved in the MAST@FIU program get to go out and survey some of its fish populations each month.

The MAST (Maritime and Science Technology) program allows the students to go out and collect additional information on the bay’s water temperature, cloud cover, wind speed, salinity and turbidity — all of which can affect its fish. All of the measurements are informing a long-term project looking at the bay’s health and the impacts its feeling from urbanization and climate change.

At the end of each school year, students involved with the MAST@FIU program present what they’ve found to their classmates and try to explain some of the data, as well as some of its trends, that they gathered.

Goals of the program are to get youngsters involved in project-based learning and, from there, to see how getting out in the field and working with their hands has affected the students’ perceptions of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers.

Students from MAST@FIU and volunteers deploy a seine net into northern Biscayne Bay. (Credit: Florida International University)

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