Spooky_Science_6Little ghosts, goblins and witches were out en masse on 24 October 2014, to enjoy Bay Point Elementary (BPE) School’s annual Fall Festival. For the 2nd year, the GCOOS-RA partnered with the BPE Parent Teacher Association and hosted Spooky Science at the festival. Dr. Chris Simoniello, GCOOS Outreach and Education Manager, coordinated the Spooky Science event that offered a dozen free, hands-on activities to students and their families. Serving a population where more than 60% of the students are on free or reduced lunch, the GCOOS-RA is working to offer enrichment opportunities to support the science, math and technology focus of this magnet school, located in St. Petersburg, FL. Spooky_Science_10Attesting to the power of strong GCOOS-RA partnerships, Simoniello was able to entrain high caliber subject matter experts to interact with the students. Among them are Dr. Anna Székely, post-doctoral student in the lab of Dr. Mya Breibart at the University of South Florida (USF); Dr. Monica Wilson, Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Specialist; Jen Cannizzaro, Ocean Optics Lab, USF; Luisa Walsh, Duke Energy; Greta Klungness, Mad Science; and chemical oceanographer Dr. Audra Ames. Also challenging students with fun, hands-on activities were faculty from Bay Point Middle School’s Center for Advancement of the Sciences and Technology (CAST) Magnet Program, staff from McMannis Aftercare Program, BPE teachers, and volunteers from Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. More than 250 GK-5 students participated in science activities that ranged from building buoyant sampling platforms to identifying mesopelagic lantern fish.