Celebrating Ocean and Earth Day at the National Oceanography Centre

23rd March 2012

It is Saturday 17th March 2012 at 10:30am and a lively, colourful crowd is standing outside the doors of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), in the docks of Southampton.

It is the Ocean and Earth Day and as part of this year’s celebration of National Science and Engineering Week, NOC opens its doors to show the public the amazing range, variety and excellence of the work at NOC.

More than 3100 visitors (a record breaker) were treated to an exciting and engaging series of around 63 displays and presentations focused specifically on children, with the aim of inspiring future ocean and earth scientists and engineers.

The Sea Surface Ocean Acidification consortium participated in the event with a video and poster display and information material about our research work and the impacts of ocean acidification on marine life and ecosystem processes.

More than 300 children attended our stand and had fun experimenting with stones and acids. Our scientists and volunteers demonstrated the chemical process of acidification and shared their passion about science as well as their concerns about the impacts of ocean acidification to marine life with both children and parents.

Ting Ting Shi, a participant of the consortium and an Ocean and Earth day volunteer, said:

Ocean and Earth Day is a great opportunity to publicise our school to the public in particularly the children and the youth and their families. It is also a good chance for them to learn some knowledge about the ocean and some contemporary environmental problems. Our ocean acidification project received broad attention on that day. Many children showed their great interests to the small acidification experiment and learned the simple basis. The parents concerned about the problems of CO2 emissions and ocean acidification and taught their children to save energy and to use public transportations, in order to help reduce CO2 emissions and protect the environment. I really enjoyed the interaction with the children and the parents.

Ting Ting and another volunteer make the final preparations

And, Dr Toby Tyrrell, Principal Investigator of the Sea Surface OA Consortium, added:

It was a pleasure to see so many visitors coming to find out about ocean acidification and trying our simple experiment. In particular the children enjoyed wearing the lab gloves and goggles and looking like budding scientists! It was enjoyable communicating the purpose of what we do and explaining what the point of it all is.

Dr Tyrrell shows the corrosive effect of acids on limestones

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