For 20 years, the National Marine Aquarium (NMA), based in Plymouth, has been connecting people with Oceans and promoting pro-Ocean behaviour. This is primarily through their Discovery and Learning programme, encompassing both formal and informal learning. These programmes engage visitors on an emotional and factual level with the goal of stimulating positive pro Ocean behavioural changes.
Ocean Squad is a club designed to get teenagers, aged 11-15, interacting with the marine environment through science experiments, cooking sustainable seafood, snorkel safaris, boat trips and other ocean related activities. Ocean Squad provides opportunities for small groups of up to 15 teenagers, with an in-depth experience, exposing them to their local marine environment. Sessions are designed to accommodate and inspire the interests of a spectrum of individuals through the mediums of science, art and other aspects of the marine world.
Through extended contacted time National Marine Aquarium staff, participating teenagers discover and develop a passion for the Ocean, as well as leaving Ocean Squad with an increased awareness of the importance of the Ocean, an improved perception of science and the role scientists play and a desire to further their own knowledge of the Ocean. The National Marine Aquarium entered the Ocean Squad project into the BIAZA Awards Education category 2019 and won a Gold award.