Global event marked by students and marine experts in Lowestoft
- Credit: Archant
The next generation of marine scientists have been inspired as part of a global event.
Children and marine scientists joined forces in Lowestoft to celebrate World Oceans Day – with the youngsters learning about the marine environment and the damage that plastics and other types of pollution cause to seas and oceans.
Youngsters from St Mary's Primary School and Lowestoft Sixth Form College teamed up with marine experts from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) as part of a global event to raise awareness of the importance of the world's oceans.
There was also an opportunity for the children to take part in interactive skype sessions with schools from Weymouth, where Cefas' sister laboratory is based, to learn together about the impact of and lifetime of litter in the marine environment.
With about 50 children from St Mary's visiting Cefas' Laboratory at Pakefield last week to meet world experts in the health of seas and seafood, they went down to Pakefield beach and created an enormous work of sand art, in the shape of a jellyfish. This was designed and created by the children to draw attention to the importance of taking care of the marine environment.
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Later in the day the Lowestoft Sixth Form College students visited to learn about the science and technology used by scientists to understand and protect our oceans. A total of 15 students took part in science experiments on the beach and in Cefas' laboratory and aquaria to collect samples of seawater, sea-life and sediment, as well as using GPS technology to map the beach.
Cefas scientist and event organiser, Susana Lincoln said: 'World Oceans Day is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of our seas.
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'We hope this has helped the young people get a better understanding of how our work at Cefas helps ensure the marine environment remains healthy and productive for future generations here in Lowestoft and across the world.'
Lowestoft Sixth Form College student, Casey Lawrence, said: 'The amount of marine litter is really shocking. People need to be much more considerate of their environment'.
St Mary's Primary School headteacher, Alex Savage, said: 'Celebrating World Oceans Day with our neighbours at Cefas has helped us all to think about our responsibility for our seas and oceans. The children learnt about how we can protect our precious marine environment, by not polluting it with plastic rubbish.'
Lowestoft Sixth Form teacher, Keith Shiels, said: 'World Oceans Day presents a wonderful opportunity to get real life industry experts into our science curriculum. To share the expertise of some of the UK's most preeminent scientists with Lowestoft Sixth Form College students will undoubtedly inspire them to pursue a similar career and stay in the local area.
'We are all very aware of the benefits close industrial links have with enhancing a student's education. This is a great example of how an organisation, such as Cefas, can help bring the College curriculum alive and provide our students with the employability skills needed to successfully engage in the UK's future workforce.
'Hopefully this will be the start of many more joint ventures between Lowestoft Sixth Form College and Cefas.'