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Learn about science, have fun at Skidaway
0926 Skidaway day 2
Two visitors to last year’s Skidaway Marine Science Day test their plankton models in preparation for the "plankton sink off" competition. - photo by Photo provided.

Skidaway’s Marine Science Day 2010 — an afternoon of marine science programs, displays, tours and activities — is set for noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, on the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography campus at the north end of Skidaway Island.

The open-house style event will feature activities designed for visitors all ages from children to adults. These will include programs, tours, displays and hands-on exercises, primarily related to marine science. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The campus’s marine research and education organizations, including the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium, the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and WSVH Georgia Public Radio coordinated Marine Science Day.

The institute will conducts tours of the research vessel Savannah and smaller research vessels. There also will be science displays and talks on current research programs.

The UGA Marine Extension Service Aquarium will offer free admission. In addition, the aquarium education staff will facilitate a reptile show, boat tours, touch tanks and behind-the-scene aquarium tours.

The UGA shellfish laboratory will set up displays and pass out information on the Georgia coast’s marine life. Children will be given the opportunity to protect the marine environment by bagging oyster shells used for oyster reef restoration projects.

The Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary staffers will set up their remotely-operated-vehicle in a swimming pool and teach visitors how to "drive" it and pick up objects from the bottom of the pool.

Skidaway’s Marine Science Day also will feature a high-tech treasure hunt dubbed "skiocache." The event is modeled after the popular "geocache" activities during which treasure hunters use GPS devices to track down hidden prizes. Using their own GPS devices, skiocache participants will track down piles of hidden loot. Visitors without GPS devices will still be able to participate and will receive a different set of clues.

Skidaway Institute Professor Bill Savidge will present a special program aimed at parents and students involved in science fair projects. The program, "How to prepare a successful science fair project," will be presented twice, at 12:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m., in the McGowan Library auditorium.

For the second year in a row, Skidaway Marine Science Day also will be open to non-campus scientific and environmental groups. Organizations such as the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will be on hand to present information, set up displays and conduct activities.

School classes or other large groups who want to attend Skidaway Marine Science Day can be accommodated only through advance arrangements. For information, call 912-598-2325.

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