SOLOMONS, MD – February 24, 2022 – A team from the 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!

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

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-UF Earns Grant to Teach Middle Schoolers About Shark Teeth Using AI

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply