SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 01, 2017) – Some days saw Stephanie Lopez-Ruiz discussing shark skin and how the sandpaper-like surface is composed of “dermal denticles,” or tiny skin teeth.
On others, she talked about how energy moves through waves, how sharks lack bone and why the moon affects tides. It was all in a day’s work for Lopez-Ruiz, who delved into these and scores of other science-related topics as a community outreach intern at Mote Marine Laboratory.
For three months, May through July, the USF Sarasota-Manatee student served on Mote’s community engagement team and visited schools, community centers, educational fairs and other events to share the wonders of Mote’s research and marine science in general.
It turned out, the experiences meant as much to Lopez-Ruiz as to the children she was teaching.