Since 1854 • Bay St. Louis, MISSISSIPPI

Second Annual Explore Science Day

Saint Stanislaus welcomed over one hundred fifth and six grade boys from Holy Trinity Catholic School, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, Coast Episcopal School, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, St. James Catholic School, Hancock Middle School, and Laurel Springs School on Thursday, November 8, to participate in the 2nd annual Explore Science Day. Saint Stanislaus’ philosophy is students learn best by doing, and their science classes involve hands-on laboratory and field experience, therefore the Explore Science Day is the same. During the Explore Science Day, the fifth and sixth graders spent half of their day with the Saint Stanislaus Marine Science program learning about our local marine environment and half the day participating in a STEM Challenge with the Saint Stanislaus STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.

The Saint Stanislaus Marine Science Interns led the 5th and 6th grade students, in small groups, through six different stations.  Each station focused on a different, yet related, aspect of Marine Science.  Station 1 focused on water quality parameters.  Students learned the importance of salinity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity in the marine environment.  They also learned how to collect and record these physical parameters using refractometers, probes, and Secchi disks.  The data that they collected was submitted to an app, OSKit_AEC, where real scientists at the Naval Research Lab will use the data.  At Stations 2 and 3, students learned about the Mississippi Oyster Gardening Program and the ecosystem experiment.  Specifically, students learned the role that oysters play in the local ecosystem – as filter feeders, food sources, and habitat for countless other marine organisms – and why they need our help.  Students learned how to raise juvenile oysters, keep them free from algae, sediment and predation, and how to properly record their growth using calipers.  The data that they collected was also submitted to the Mississippi Oyster Gardening Program.  Station 4 exposed students to our local environment by observing marine life in student aquariums.  Students also learned about the history of Marine Science, in terms of early forms of record keeping, by making fish prints.  Each student made their own fish print as a keepsake.  Station 5 focused on the importance of the tiniest organisms in our ocean – plankton!  Students observed fresh plankton pulls under microscopes and learned how to identify various species.  Species that they identified were also submitted to the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network.  The last station focused on deep sea ocean exploration.  Here, students learned about America’s ship for ocean exploration, the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer as well as the Ocean Exploration Trust ship E/V Nautilus, under the direction of Dr. Robert Ballard.  Both of these ships were at sea, conducting deep water dives, using ROV and telepresence technologies.  As a result, students were able to see LIVE ocean exploration, thousands of feet down, right before their eyes!  On the day of our Explore Science Day, Okeanos Explorer was off the coast of Puerto Rico and E/V Nautilus was off the coast of California.

During the STEM challenge students were given a brief lesson on energy and energy transfers, then they were presented with a challenge of building a self-powered vehicle given a limited amount of supplies. With the assistance of current Saint Stanislaus STEM students, the explorers had to first figure out how to effectively store enough kinetic energy to power their vehicle, then they had to design, build and test their creation. At the end of each session, morning and afternoon, each vehicle was placed on a track and released to see how far it could travel. The distance traveled, divided by the cost of the build then gave each group their score. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place was awarded to the three highest scores in addition to a style award for the best looking vehicle.

The Marine Science Department recognized the following students for their work during the Explore Science Day: Elijah Labrosse (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Catch of the Day Award; Farres Baroudi (Coast Episcopal School), Future Marine Biologist; Bailey Bozant (Hancock Middle School), Future Marine Science Intern; and the morning Sharks group comprised of Hyatt Anthony (Coast Episcopal School), Harrison Walton (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Joseph Deano (Coast Episcopal School), Karson Benigno (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Landen Schmitt (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Beckham Molino (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Ethan Cuevas (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), and Arthur Chapman (Holy Trinity Catholic School) won the Rock-A-Chaw Award.

The STEM Program recognized students in both the morning and afternoon sessions. The morning STEM Challenge winners were Gibson Williams (Coast Episcopal School), James Lindsey (St. James Catholic School), Christian Mills (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Aiden Roth (Holy Trinity Catholic School), and their Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Joseph Hebert. The morning second place team consisted of Aden Vanney (Coast Episcopal School), Justin Mares (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Cameron Ross (Holy Trinity Catholic School), John Krieger (St. James Catholic School), and Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Karl Legere. The third place team in the morning STEM Challenge was Elijah Labrosse (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Mitchell Thompson (Coast Episcopal School), Jack Lawson (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Reece Catchot (St. James Catholic School), and Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Jackson Maillho. The morning Style Award went to, Robert Kergosien (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Francis Tay (Coast Episcopal School), John Paul Mattina (St. James Catholic School), Jack Konkel (Holy Trinity Catholic School), and Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Brennan Toepfer.

The team who placed first in the afternoon STEM Challenge consisted of Rylen Hunt (Coast Episcopal School), Tristan Frederick (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Christian Haas (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Brett Tyler (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), and Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Karl Legere. The second place team was Anton Nasrallah (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Finley Williford (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Max Baria (Coast Episcopal School), and Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Stephen Bonck. The third place team was made up of the following students, Noah Babin (Coast Episcopal School), Jared Mueller (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Braxton Benigno (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Andrew Whitney (Holy Trinity Catholic School), and Saint Stanislaus STEM mentor, Tiernan Alderman. The afternoon Style Award recipients were the team of Micah Bishop (Holy Trinity Catholic School), Trent Brazier (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Gabriel Podlin (St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School), Farris Baroudi (Coast Episcopal School), and Saint Stanislaus mentor, Kaleb Allen.