• Girls from schools in underserved areas to design, build, and deploy real underwater robots in breakthrough education program Mission: Tampa Bay

    National Geographic Explorer Erika Bergman will lead 20 girls from Hillsborough County on an empowering adventure to spark their interests in STEM careers. 

    Tampa, Florida—A group of teenage girls from Tampa will push the boundaries of exploration this weekend, controlling an undersea robot they built themselves as part of a new way of learning being pioneered in the Tampa Bay area.


    In a jam-packed weekend at Girls Underwater Robot Camp, twenty girls will construct submarine drones at MOSI on Friday, spend the night at The Florida Aquarium on Saturday, and wake up on Sunday to test their robots in an exhibit and then deploy and pilot them through the waters of Tampa Bay from the deck of the Aquarium’s catamaran.


    The girls range in age from 10 to 15, and they were chosen from six schools in underserved areas based on the skills they have shown in the classroom. Mission: Tampa Bay aims to give these girls a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will make the most of their interests in the fast-growing, high-paying STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Students from low-income backgrounds are far less likely to graduate college than their wealthier peersMission: Tampa Bay is one part of the Tampa Bay STEM Network’s effort to keep students engaged and inspired, regardless of their bank accounts or zip codes.


    Erika Bergman—a National Geographic Explorer, submarine pilot, and arctic researcher—will guide the girls through their experience. Bergman is working worldwide to inspire more women to take on STEM careers as female explorers, scientists, and engineers; she is hosting the Girls Underwater Robot Camp through a partnership between National Geographic Learning and her organization, GEECs—Global Engineering & Exploration Counselors.


    Photos, video, and interviews are available Friday or Sunday, plus seats for media are available on the Sunday catamaran trip:


    At MOSI, Friday, Feb. 10
    Robot design and construction in Idea Zone – 10:00–11:30 a.m.

    Robot design and construction continues – 12:15–2:30 p.m.

    Media contact: Grayson Kamm, MOSI – 727-430-2247 or grayson@mosi.org


    At The Florida Aquarium, Sunday, Feb. 12
    Robot testing in exhibit – 8:00–9:00 a.m.

    Robot deployment in Tampa Bay – boat departure at 9:00 a.m., return to shore at 11:30 a.m.

    Media contact: Brian Gallaher, The Florida Aquarium – 813-367-4079 or bgallaher@flaquarium.org

    Download great photos and VO for media use from Mission: Tampa Bay 2016: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjMl2DqAimg9k0XweuS3DNd61btG



    About Mission: Tampa Bay:

    Mission: Tampa Bay is a collaboration between National Geographic Learning, Cengage Learning, and members of the Tampa Bay STEM Network: Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Florida Aquarium, the Museum of Science & Industry, Glazer Children’s Museum, Million Women Mentors, and Tampa Bay TechStart.


    About the Museum of Science & Industry:

    MOSI, the Museum of Science & Industry, is Tampa Bay’s community-supported science center. At MOSI, people of all ages (this means you!) can see and do amazing things every day. MOSI (we pronounce it MOH’-zee) is the largest science center in the Southeast, and a not-for-profit magnet for STEAM innovation and cutting-edge education where we make a difference in people’s lives by making science real for people of all ages and backgrounds. For more information about MOSI, visit mosi.org.


    About The Florida Aquarium:

    The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment. The Florida Aquarium is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals representing species from Florida and around the world. For more information about The Florida Aquarium, visit flaquarium.org.