Victor Perez, Assistant Curator of Paleontology at Calvert Marine Museum, holds tooth of extinct giant shark Megalodon. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.
Victor Perez, Assistant Curator of Paleontology at Calvert Marine Museum, holds tooth of extinct giant shark Megalodon. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.
Victor Perez, Assistant Curator of Paleontology at Calvert Marine Museum, holds tooth of extinct giant shark Megalodon. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.
Victor Perez, Assistant Curator of Paleontology at Calvert Marine Museum, holds tooth of extinct giant shark Megalodon. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.

SOLOMONS, Md. – A team from University of Florida and the Calvert Marine Museum was recently awarded $1.3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to teach middle school students and teachers about artificial intelligence using fossil shark teeth! A primary goal of the grant is to provide students with the confidence and skills to pursue careers in science and computer science by introducing them to fundamental machine learning concepts at a young age.

Shark teeth will serve as the charismatic hook to engage students and, with their relatively simple morphology, are ideal for identification using machine learning. A portion of the grant will allow the Florida Museum and the Calvert Marine Museum to digitize their research collections, making them accessible for use in these machine learning models that are trained using 2D images. Students and teachers will have the opportunity to explore authentic research questions, as they create models of increasing complexity with real fossil teeth.

Read more about the project through the Florida Museum’s press release: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/earth-systems/blog/uf-earns-grant-to-teach-middle-schoolers-about-shark-teeth-using-ai/.

Explore how the prehistoric past, natural environments, and maritime heritage come to life and tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. The Calvert Marine Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is $9.00 for adults; $7.00 for seniors, military with valid I.D, AAA and AARP members; $4.00 for children ages 5 – 12; children under 5 and museum members are admitted free. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, or membership, visit the website at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com or call 410-326-2042. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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