Mission Tampa Bay III — Peer mentors rise as the leaders of today

February 8–11th, Tampa Florida

Comfort Anyanwu, a returning mentor for the 3rd year running, shows her peers how to solder lights onto their ROV’s electrical panel during Mission Tampa Bay II in 2017.

Ffollowing in the footsteps of the great oceanographers of the past, 40 girls are gathering this week to change their lives in a big blue way. As the oceans reach more and more critical levels of acidification, over fishing, warming, and oil spill catastrophes, there are less and less stories of positive change. Our oceans are resilient, but how do we give them a chance without a hopeful generation making change?

Girls Underwater Robot Camp is how! — It’s inner space camp - for the other 99% of habitable space on Earth!

During Mission Tampa Bay III, 40 girls plus teachers, peer mentors, and the staff of our partner organizations will gather to build and deploy 8 OpenROVs to explore the underwater world so often hidden in plain sight.

This year, during out BIGGEST CAMP OF ALL TIME, a handful of girls who have participated as campers in previous programs are returning to teach this year’s camp themselves. As the founder of this program, I’m jazzed, I’ve been made completely superfluous by these rising stars of leadership. Their scientific and engineering goals for life are forming deeply, and I’m proud and excited to see them graduate and soon enough become my colleagues.

All 20 Girls Underwater Robot Campers in 2017 were proud to finish their ship expedition after flying their new ROVs in Tampa Bay. This year, we’re going for double or nothin’! 40 girls, 8 robots, 3 days, here we go!

Girls Underwater Robot Camp has produced over 100 new ROV pilots, and reached thousands of students through live talks and remote classroom experiences. Our ongoing collaboration with Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants brings explorers to the classroom, and classrooms to the explorers. Each year during Mission Tampa Bay students from around the world are invited to join camp remotely, to hear from the girls themselves about the hardships and joys of marine robotics. But don’t take my word for it, come see for yourself on February 9th at 11 am EST on National Geographic Google Hangouts!

Special Thanks to our amazing Partners for the impact they are having on these girls by providing time, volunteers, and funding. Thank You!

Ready to host Girls Underwater Robot Camp in your neighborhood?! Send us an email — info@theGEECs.com!

Like what you read? Give Erika Bergman a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.