Do you ever wonder what grows on piers, jetties, and docks? The BioDiscovery Project is a STEM (science-technology-engineering-math)-based initiative designed for educators and students to examine the organisms that colonize, or “foul”, these types of structures through species identification and water quality data collection.
Participating schools use a biorack, which when submerged, will start to colonize with species such as skeleton shrimp, algae, barnacles, and much more. The data collected is entered into the BioDiscovery Project’s data portal, which can be shared with other participating schools along and across watersheds.
Funded through a generous grant by the Bosch Community Fund, the BioDiscovery Project is coordinated by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission in partnership with the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab, and Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.
At its foundation, this project was based on Maryland Sea Grant’s Biofilms and Biodiversity program that engages teachers and students in the exploration of biofouling communities in coastal Maryland.
How to Get Involved
- The BioDiscovery Project is open to any nonformal or formal educator in South Carolina
- The project is aligned to current S.C. State Science Standards
- A one-day training is hosted annually in which you receive supplies to build your biorack, training on the data portal, classroom application ideas, and instruction on species identification and water quality data collection. The 2022 BioDiscovery Training will be announced in January 2022
- Participation in the project and the training are free-of-charge to you thanks to support from Bosch and program partners
- Up to six renewal credits are offered
Please contact E.V. Bell, Marine Education Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Biorack photos courtesy Lindsay Patterson, CCPRC.