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FALL 2019 Issue

October 15, 2019

NGI - Homeschool Monday at the NASA Infinity Science Center

Go With the Flow! NOAA partners with NGI and the Grand Bay NERR to demonstrate the Gulf of Mexico watersheds for Homeschool Monday at INFINITY Science Center


The Go with the Flow! activity was designed to demonstrate how our actions on land affect the health of our ocean ecosystems and people in coastal communities. NOAA put the "S-ience" in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) series of events on September 30, 2019 targeting homeschooled children from surrounding areas. 213 people or 88% of the total registered guests visited our booth to discuss how watersheds work and the human role as sustainable environmental stewards.

Amy Clark was the point of contact for our booth at INFINITY, Madalyn Newman planned, coordinated, and led the activity along with the volunteers Sandra Huynh, Angela Sallis, and Amy. Madalyn created a handout with the help of her co-workers entitled, Go with the Flow! The Mighty Mississippi River Watershed Fact Sheet. This fact sheet was included in a packet of information on two types of algal blooms, NOAA's Hypoxia Watch and HABSOS flyers, and a few watershed activities for different age groups. In a perfect world, this information will provide the parents with a better understanding and resources they can incorporate into lesson plans at home.

A model coastal community consisting of farms and farm animals, industrial buildings, and residential buildings were incorporated into the demonstration. We discussed how animal waste, nutrients and chemicals from point and nonpoint pollution sources, and litter enter the water. Recent algal blooms, hypoxia, and beach closures were a hot topic of this activity. The idea of living shorelines and the important role of wetlands as both a storm buffer and method of nutrient filtration were also discussed.