New Bedford Ocean Explorium Prepares to Open

“…Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a Fire…” W. B. Yeats

The Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport exhibits include Science on a Sphere®, The World’s Oceans exhibit, Coastal Zone Touch Tank, Ocean Nursery and lot more.

The Sea: we look to it for inspiration, sustenance and adventure. Our community is defined by the sea. Throughout our history we have taken both pleasure and profit from the waters that meet our shores and from the oceans beyond.
But how much do we know about the sea and the forces that act upon it? How can we be wiser and more effective stewards of this wonderful resource? How can we meet the challenges and opportunities that face our friends and neighbors who make their living from the sea? How can we ensure that our children will both love the sea and embrace its critical role in their lives?
The outcome of an important partnership between the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the New Bedford Oceanarium, the Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport is an ambitious initiative designed to meet these important needs. Located in the magnificent lobby of the former New Bedford Institution for Savings, the Ocean Explorium will consist of a series of living aquatic environments, interactive exhibits and numerous outreach initiatives. In conjunction with a comprehensive education program, the Ocean Explorium will promote a broader and deeper understanding of our local waters and the oceans beyond.
1. Education programming
The central role of the Ocean Explorium will be to explain, encourage and facilitate stewardship of the marine environment—focusing on the sustainable use of natural resources and the prevention of habitat contamination and destruction. This role will be achieved through innovative, interactive and hands-on experiences, and field excursions and educational standards as codified by The Massachusetts Department of Education. These activities will be augmented by educational modules that set out inquiry-based learning experiences.
Reaching many thousands of people each year these educational programs will result in a population of environmentally-aware citizens, yielding significant benefit in the responsible use of natural resources and a broader participation in community-based environmental protection and remediation activities.
2. Networking
The Ocean Explorium will act as a networking hub for various non-governmental and governmental organizations. It will act as a clearing house for recent developments in environmental science and convey these to the public in an accessible manner. The Ocean Explorium will become the “go to” organization for members of the public who have questions related to ocean science and sustainability.
3. Community participation
The Ocean Explorium will engage the community at a hands-on level. Such activities will include: beach clean-ups, community littoral (i.e., coastal) nature trails, etc. These activities will promote the Ocean Explorium as an active member of the community and will encourage citizens to be more proactive about their obligations toward the environment, to be protectors of their natural world.
Source: Ocean Explorium website Introduction http://oceanexplorium.org/pages/Introduction.html

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