I had a great time hosting the “Bella’s “Bear” Necessities” station at Biscayne National Park’s family Fun Fest on Sunday! It was a beautiful day, and I got to help teach hundreds of people about the Seven Basic Principles of Ocean Literacy.
Ranger Gary, who coordinates the event (this is the tenth year!) had my station set up so that kids took a tour through the seven principles at 7 mini-stations, one for each principle. The mini-stations each contained a short simple activity or demonstration of that principle
Do you know what the seven principles are? Take a look below to find out and also how I helped to teach people about them.
Mini station 1
The Earth has one big ocean with many features. Using a globe, participants ran their finger around the planet without touching land and without taking their finger off the globe. They found out that all the oceans are connected!
Mini station 2
The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth. Using sugar cubes and water-filled syringes, kids demonstrated how rock the sugar cubes) can get eroded by water. Shorelines all over the world have been sculpted in this way.
Mini station 3
The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. Using a jar with a glass top, we demonstrated the water cycle of evaporation, condensation and rain. Most of the rain that falls to earth originates in the oceans…even in places far from the sea.
Mini station 4
The ocean makes Earth habitable. Using microscopes, participants looked at phytoplankton to see the sources of most of the Earth’s oxygen. Did you know that about half of the oxygen we breathe comes from
plants that live in the ocean? That’s every other breath we take that we owe to the ocean!
Mini station 5
The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems. Most of the actual living space on Earth is in the oceans. While land offers a mostly flat surface where things can live, the average ocean depth offers 22 times the amount of living space. We used blocks to represent the amount of living space in each habitat.
Mini station 6
The ocean and humans are inextricably connected. We used a large gift wrapped box containing examples of how the ocean provides us with food, medicine, energy, jobs, transportation, security, recreation and inspiration. What a gift the ocean gives us!
The ocean is largely unexplored. We had three cans with a picture in each that could be viewed through a soda straw. Since very little of the image could be seen through the straw, most people could not tell
what the image was. Similarly, by only seeing a small part of the ocean, we really don’t know much about it. The pictures were of things only discovered recently in the ocean, like black smokers (deep sea features) and the barreleye fish.
You can learn more about the Seven Principles of Ocean Literacy at http://oceanliteracy.wp.coexploration.org/ (but its not as much fun as discovering it yourself !) Good thing there are events like Family Fun Fest to make learning fun!
Well I had so much fun and so did the people visiting the mini stations. If anyone reading this message came to the FAmily Fun Fest, leave a message bellow and tell me what you thought about the event and what you found out. That would be awesome!
Bye for now, Bella Bear