NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

An inside look at the science of cleaning up and fixing the mess of marine pollution

Large Amount of 7th and 8th Graders Spilled onto NOAA during 2011 Science Camp


Dozens of barrels of laughs and curiosity spill onto NOAA’s Seattle campus at Sand Point for a couple weeks each July. Spills of this size are usually a cause for concern among those of us who work for NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). However, for these two weeks, we allow this overflow of youthful enthusiasm to spill into our world for NOAA Science Camp [leaves this blog]. Take a look at what’s in store for these 7th and 8th graders from Seattle, Wash., each summer:

We believe in getting today’s students excited about becoming tomorrow’s scientists. Likewise, President Obama is also working to “improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)” through his Educate to Innovate campaign [leaves this blog]. Since 2003, NOAA’s Western Regional Center in Seattle and Washington Sea Grant have been immersing Seattle middle school students in true-to-life scientific activities such as donning dive gear, identifying whales, testing water quality, and, of course, thinking critically and asking questions.

Stay posted for more in-depth looks at the type of Science Camp fun OR&R pulls together, from responding to the M/V SpongeBob’s mock oil spill to sleuthing an environmental mystery. For now, enjoy a few snapshots from the past two weeks:

Kids examining what oil does on different types of beaches

Kids gather around to see how "oil" moves through different kinds of beach sediments, such as gravel or sand. Credit: Ashley Braun, NOAA.

Oceanographer Amy MacFadyen and Science Camp kids around fish tank of oil and water.

NOAA oceanographer Amy MacFadyen helps this year's Science Camp students explore what oil does on water, the effects of winds and currents, and the (here, miniature) organisms that might encounter spilled oil. Credit: Ashley Braun, NOAA.

Student testing water sample

A young NOAA Science Camper tests a water sample for its level of dissolved oxygen, hoping to solve part of an ecological mystery. Credit: Ashley Braun, NOAA.

Author: Office of Response and Restoration

The National Ocean Service's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) provides scientific solutions for marine pollution. A part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), OR&R is a center of expertise in preparing for, evaluating, and responding to threats to coastal environments. These threats could be oil and chemical spills, releases from hazardous waste sites, or marine debris.

3 thoughts on “Large Amount of 7th and 8th Graders Spilled onto NOAA during 2011 Science Camp

  1. Have you heard of a nurdle? Do you know what it is? This video is related to your post. You should see it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this video. Plastic pollution (nurdles included) are indeed a problem for the ocean. NOAA’s Marine Debris Program (MDP) is focused on cutting it down as much as possible. Here’s a post from MDP’s Carey Morishige on the subject: She’ll be posting again here soon with more updates on the latest science of marine plastics.

  3. Pingback: What Killed the Fish? Young Scientists Test the Waters | Response and Restoration Blog

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