Kids can learn about marine animals like horseshoe crabs at Coast Day, which this year is Oct. 7 at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

Coast Day fun for kids

Families can enjoy fun activities about marine science at Coast Day in Lewes

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2:20 p.m., Sept. 19, 2012--Beach-loving kids can follow their fascination with the sea to Coast Day on Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. The family-friendly event features fun activities that tap children’s natural curiosity about the ocean.

“This year’s theme is ‘Checking in on Our Coast,’” said event chair John Ewart of Delaware Sea Grant, which presents the event with UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “Kids can use their senses to explore marine science — and check out the tools our researchers use to do so, too.”

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Touch tanks will display creatures like horseshoe crabs and small sharks that young visitors can pet while asking questions about the animals. Nearby, children can climb aboard research ships in the harbor to discover how scientists do field research. Free life jackets will be given to kids who sign a safe boating pledge, while supplies last, courtesy of the Marine Trades Association.

The magic of ocean chemistry will be revealed in a Chemical Magic Show at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. in the Virden Center. George Luther, UD professor of oceanography, will perform glowing and exploding chemical magic tricks to explain marine-related phenomena.

Various labs will be open for interaction with scientists showing crabs, algae and other study subjects. At the Check It Out! exhibit in room 104 inside Cannon Lab, families can find out what lives in the ocean depths, view a life-sized model tubeworm, learn about underwater robots and see what’s so interesting about marsh mud. Kids can dress up as marine scientists to learn all about career possibilities in this field.

Outside Cannon Lab, families can pick up a Children’s Treasure Hunt to answer questions about Coast Day found in displays and exhibits throughout the campus. Maps are free, and prizes will be awarded to children who answer all the questions.

Kids can make colorful creations at the fish printing station at the Mallway tent, and numerous groups include other children’s activities at their exhibits. When it’s time for a snack, stop by the Food Festival for an array of treats.

Coast Day is sponsored by DuPont Clear into the Future, Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc., UTEC Survey Inc., WMDT—CW-3, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To download a program for Coast Day, visit this website. The event is rain or shine, with free admission and parking.

Note to the UD community: Free bus transportation to Lewes from Newark will be available for UD students and employees. Learn more.

Article by Teresa Messmore

Photo by Lisa Tossey

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