University of South Florida

College of Education

Tampa | St. Petersburg | Sarasota-Manatee


USF College of Education Port Tampa Bay

Student Experience: Port Tampa Bay

Math and science are hard at work at Port Tampa Bay. USF College of Education students had a great view of all the action. The port’s Director of Engineering, Jose De-Jesus was able to share insight into the structures and systems in place at Port Tampa Bay that enable the transportation of goods throughout the state of Florida and beyond. As a civil engineer, De-Jesus gave an informative tour to a group of students in their final stretch of completing their degrees. These future elementary education teachers will be inspiring their classes to follow their curiosity into STEM professions.

Inspiring students to pursue STEM occupations

Cruise Terminal

It all started at the port’s Cruise Terminal 3 on a beautiful day in Tampa Bay. De-Jesus joined Stephanie Arthur, Assistant Professor of Instruction at the USF College of Education and her class. He welcomed them to Port Tampa Bay.

“When I was a kid, I struggled in math and science classes, but teachers encouraged me. Gave me ways to continue forward. Teachers helped me reach my goals,” De-Jesus said. “You never know how your words might inspire someone. I experienced that in my life.”

“Jose always takes the time to give STEM tours of Port Tampa Bay to USF College of Education groups,“ Arthur said. “I learn something new about the port and the impact on our local community every time.”

USF College of Education walking to boat.

Math and science concepts
Arthur encouraged her class of future teachers to think about problems students could solve with math and science that are at Port Tampa Bay. By bringing more of the real-world application of how science, math and technology inform the innovative processes of engineering, teachers can open up student’s eyes to the many career fields that they might one day enter. By starting in elementary school, teachers can broaden the pipeline into STEM field careers for all students of all backgrounds.

“I could see how I could integrate science and math concepts into the classroom by real-world examples at Port Tampa Bay. Asking questions of my students. Making it fun for my class,” USF College of Education student, Taina Chery said.

De-Jesus shared how what the students were seeing was connected to STEM concepts and occupations at Port Tampa Bay. 

Port Tampa Bay

Crains at Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is the largest port in the state of Florida. The Tampa/Orlando region is a huge consumer market and projected to be the fastest growing region of Florida for the next 20 years with a population of more than 8 million people, plus 60 million visitors a year.

The port has many STEM related jobs, such as mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, geotechnical, environmental, materials, marine/coastal and chemical engineers. They also employ environmental scientists that manage environmental stewardship efforts, as well as surveyors, geologists, data analysts and statisticians.

Besides this STEM learning experience at Port Tampa Bay, Arthur and her STEM Integration in the Elementary Classroom class have experienced the Vū Studios Tampa Bay, AMRoC FabLab, the Critical Care Unit at Zoo Tampa, the Synapse Summit at the Amalie Arena and the Hillsborough County Public Schools STEM Fair this semester. 

“These teacher experiences will bring the value of real-world STEM career path occupation opportunities into the classroom,” Arthur said.

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About the USF College of Education:

As the home for more than 2,200 students and 130 faculty members across three campuses, the University of South Florida College of Education offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders. Our college is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our educator preparation programs are fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.