Established as a day to promote education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Georgia STEM Day, which took place on May 5, is a celebration of programs and careers that improve Georgia communities through research and training. It would be impossible for Georgia Aquarium to operate or fulfill its mission without the hard work of employees in STEM careers, making a difference in animals’ lives, guest experiences, and environmental sustainability.
Careers in STEM are dynamic and exciting, with boundless opportunities to apply educational lessons to real world situations. At Georgia Aquarium, STEM employees work around the clock to guarantee the safety of animals and visitors. Explore these important roles around the Aquarium and see STEM in action!
S is for Science – Science is at the heart of Georgia Aquarium’s practices, and our veterinary team ensures the health and prosperity of animals both on-site and in the wild. Through aquatic animal medicine and aquatic conservation programs, veterinarians are able to treat animals with pre-existing conditions and prevent health complications from arising in the future. Veterinarians work hands-on in our state-of-the-art Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health to examine and evaluate the medical needs of animals and assess treatment options to keep them happy and healthy. By studying science subjects including biology, pathology, and veterinarian practices, students can play an important role in caring for and providing essential support for the welfare of animals.
T is for Technology – The engineers and biologists that keep our waters clean for the Aquarium’s many habitats and galleries are the unseen superheroes of Georgia Aquarium. Overseeing more than 10 million gallons of water across more than 100 habitats, the Life Support Systems team works behind the scenes 24/7 to maintain the proper pH levels and water composition for our animals to prosper. Life Support Systems technicians monitor the filtration of more than 500 different pumps and other digital and analog indicators of water quality. The LSS team’s close examination of the high-tech equipment that regulates animal habitats ensures that Georgia Aquarium is providing the safest living standards possible for all animals.
E is for Engineering – At first glance, the subject of engineering might appear to be all science and technology, but the engineering that built Georgia Aquarium and the habitats hosted here is at the intersection of science and art. Constructing, maintaining and expanding the facilities of Georgia Aquarium requires an understanding of space and design. Georgia Aquarium engineers are constantly updating and innovating the exhibits to engage and educate guests on aquatic animals. Collaboration between engineers, architects, and technicians shapes the experience of visitors and creates dynamic homes for tens of thousands of animals.
M is for Mathematics – Numbers permeate into nearly all STEM work, but mastering mathematics is extremely important for our staff nutritionist. All of our animals must be fed different amounts of food at different frequencies, and Georgia Aquarium’s aquatic nutritionist calculates these measurements based on a variety of factors. One might guess that the whale shark, the ocean’s largest fish, consumes the most food, but weighing approximately 2,000 pounds, they only consume two percent of their body weight daily. Sea otters on the other hand weigh approximately 65 pounds, but they must consume 20 percent of their body weight daily to counteract high metabolism rates. Our nutritionist calculates the caloric needs of our animals every day and feed them at intervals to promote healthy growth.
As an institution that relies heavily on the work of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians, Georgia Aquarium is committed to advancing education and careers in STEM. Both on-site and at home, guests can discover the power of STEM. At our interactive gallery, Aquanaut Adventure, guests can learn from informative and entertaining STEM-related activities that simulate the operations that keep Georgia Aquarium running.
Or you can discover the possibilities from home by watching Georgia Aquarium and Georgia-Pacific’s pioneering video series, STEAM Forward. This online informational resource builds interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) subjects by showcasing the variety of STEAM career paths for students to pursue. Giving viewers a behind-the-scenes glance at the operations and skills that keep Georgia Aquarium afloat, STEAM Forward proves that STEAM is all around us.
To learn more about our commitment to STEM pathways, please visit http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/experience/learn