MORE than 300 children from primary schools, nurseries and playgroups, along with 50 staff, have visited the Seas Around Us project at the NAFC Marine Centre over the past six weeks.
With two special open afternoons tying in with the RSPB Nature Week on 8th and 10th July and the open day on 17th July still to come, this second year of the project is set to surpass all expectations.
Kenny Gifford, who is part of the team responsible for co-ordinating the initiative, said: “This year’s Seas Around Project is once again proving an exciting attraction for schoolchildren and accompanying staff alike. It really is heartening to see young children taking an interest in Shetland’s marine life and asking so many inquiring questions.
“I’m amazed at the numbers that have already passed through the wet room’s doors and we already know of around another 150 children booked to visit before the season ends.
“At a time when it is all too easy to settle in front of the television, computer games or the internet – particularly with the weather we’ve been experiencing this summer – children may miss out on the real world out there.
“I hope this project can go some way to stimulating a lifelong interest in the marine life around us and, perhaps, even a career in marine science.”
The Seas Around Us project was established to give school pupils an introduction to the sea creatures that can be found locally, as well as a better understanding of career opportunities in marine related industries.
Visits include a tour of the tanks in the wet room area where children can examine a wide range of marine species. Students can also get up close with marine life under the microscope in the teaching laboratory.