Girls learn marine science in special program at UGA Skidaway Institute

The University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Girls Who Code and The Creative Coast presented a one-of-a-kind experience for middle school girls in Chatham County to learn about marine science and computer coding at UGA Skidaway Institute on Monday, July 11. The Girls Code Summer Camp taught campers to design and program a playable game related to marine science, all under the guidance of female scientists and programmers.

Research technician Karen Dreger displays the workings of an underwater glider to the Girls Code Summer Campers.

The program was created by UGA Skidaway Institute scientist Catherine Edwards and Savannah Arts Academy (SAA) senior and Girls Who Code co-founder Sage Batchelor. It includes girls from 20 different public schools between the 5th-8th grades. Edwards and her team introduced the girls to underwater robots, including what they do, how they are programmed, what type of data they produce and how that data is used by scientists.

UGA graduate student Frank McQuarrie shows the campers how a glider is trimmed for neutral buoyancy before it is deployed.

The camp continues the remainder of the week at Georgia Southern University, where Batchelor and a group of female counselors (seniors and recent graduates of SAA) will teach campers to design and build a computer game using the information they learned about underwater robots.

UGA Skidaway Institute scientist Catherine Edwards describes the use of gliders to improve hurricane forecasts.

Sponsors for the program include the City of Savannah, UGA Marine Education Center, Georgia
Southern Business Innovation Group and Elevate Savannah.

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