Florida science stuff 6/1/14

I enjoy tracking science related stuff happening here in my home state of Florida. Every now and then I’ll collect recent news items and post them here to share with all of you. Enjoy!

pterodactyl photo— USF prof’s team found, named ancient flying reptile: “A University of South Florida professor led a trio of paleontologists who have discovered and named the earliest of the pterodactyloids, a group of flying reptiles that became the dominant winged creatures of the prehistoric world.

“USF’s Brian Andres also determined that the pterodactyloids appeared about 5 million years earlier than previously known, about 163 million years ago.”

— Kiera Wilmot, Teen Arrested In Botched Science Experiment, Haunted By Felony Record: “But a felony arrest record continues to haunt her. Though criminal charges were dismissed last year, Wilmot says in a video produced by the Advancement Project that “the lawyer says it takes five years to clear each felony off the record.”

AF helps state university educate teachers: Hamilton takes a personal interest in reaching out to students, especially females, because “there’s a misconception on their part that women can’t do STEM subjects.” He recounted a time when his daughter was 6 years old and told him she wanted to be a man.

“‘I want to be an astronaut and only men can do that,’ she said, Hamilton remembered. “I have no idea where she got that notion, but I had to convince her that was a misconception, she could do something very science intensive.”

Tracking dust from around the world: Now, researchers at the University of Florida have created the first high-altitude sampling device to collect microorganisms from the upper atmosphere. It’s called “DART,” short for Dust at Altitude Recovery Technology.

“We can now fly above the ground mixing area, [called ‘the boundary layer’],… and capture dust that is primarily from Africa, with very little surface contamination,” said Schuerger.

Summer program empowers girls with science: This will be the first time that science will play a role at the camp, with anthropology and environmental studies being taught by anthropologist Anne McCudden, park manager at the 15-acre lakeside “Women’s Park” on West Flagler Street, which is one of the two parks where camp activities will take place.

Florida scientist, 12, wows Obama with ‘sandless sandbag’: “I got to show him my project, and he definitely seemed impressed,” Peyton said after meeting with Obama. “The retractable training wheels he thought would be good for kids’ toys. And he thought the sandbags would be helpful for emergency management and things like that.”

Photo by The British Library

Photo by The British Library