MEDIA ALERT: Students Build Water Sensors in Prep for King Tide Day

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Students from MAST @ FIU BBC, a public high school that’s part of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and housed at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus, with the support of FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, spent Wednesday morning building coqui sensors that they will use for their upcoming King Tide Day events on Alton Road in Miami Beach on Oct. 9.

“This is a great and new experience,”said Noe Ley, a 10th grader at MAST @ FIU. “It really impressed me how a little breadboard could have as many abilities and different functions.”

More training is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2 when students will construct and test water sensors in campus access to the Biscayne Bay and in nearby ponds with plans to use them to examine salinity in potential flood waters on Miami Beach during King Tide Day.

“I think this collaborative project is what we need as a school,” said Saad Masud, a 10th grader who presented with Ley information about sea level rise in South Florida during a Sept. 29 rally to launch the King Tide Day event. ” Already being inside a university, it’s natural to have these interconnected projects. It provides a new kind of hands-on experience.”

The students have now worked closely with researchers from MIT and from Public Lab to discuss how to collect — and to communicate — environmental data about sea level rise.

“I feel like getting help from university professors and from MIT provided us with information that’s fresh and from a peer group that’s not biased by an older person who might not share our perspectives on the world,” Ley said. “It really gives us an understanding that’s coming from a peer who can relate to us.”

Media will be able to take photographs and video of students preparing and testing sensors Oct. 2 and again during the Oct. 9 event.

“You can’t do this at every high school,” Saad said of the collaboration with FIU’s SJMC.

Who: MAST @ FIU BBC students and FIU SJMC students

When: Thursday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: FIU Biscayne Bay Campus, Academic Center 2 Rm. 242, 3000 NE 151st Street, North Miami, FL 33181

Contact: Dr. Robert Gutsche, Jr.,, 608-345-0717.