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Feb-02-2009 18:06printcommentsVideo

The Oregon Coast Aquarium Brings the Shore to Your Door

Look for the Aquarium education van in Marion County schools February 10th-12th.

Invertebrates in the Touch Pool at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Oregon.
Invertebrates in the Touch Pool at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Oregon. Photo courtesy:

(NEWPORT, Ore.) - Oregon Coast Aquarium educators will travel to Marion County in their colorful education van, bringing marine science to schools from February 10-12.

The van, made possible by grants from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Trust Management Services, LLC and the Jackson Foundation, is painted with a mural of marine life found at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Upcoming outreach destinations include twenty-two weeks in counties throughout Oregon and Washington.

The Aquarium Education Department is making an effort to reach more students than ever before, with a goal to increase awareness and conservation of the ocean’s resources, according to Melody Ragsdale, Outreach Coordinator.

“We want to make sure every student, no matter where they live, can learn about this amazing ecosystem that is right in their backyard,” said Ragsdale. Last year the Aquarium outreach programs visited over 100 elementary schools across the state seeing close to 29,000 students. This year the outreach effort will be crossing state lines and visiting Washington students as well.

The two assemblies that will be presented to Marion county schools are “No Bones About ‘Em” for kindergarten through second grade and “From Tubefeet to Tentacles” for third through fifth grade students.

Students will discuss the conditions of the Pacific Northwest’s rocky shore habitat and discover how five marine invertebrates are supremely adapted to survive there.

As student volunteers don colorful barnacle, sea star, sea urchin, sea anemone and octopus costumes, their classmates will find out how each of these animals find food, eat and avoid becoming a meal. All outreach programs are aligned to meet the Oregon Department of Education standards in science and math.

Visits to schools in Marion County include:

  • Feb. 9-Lincoln Elem, Woodburn 1:00
  • Feb.10-Weddle Elem. Keizer 9:30
  • Feb.10-Marion Elem. Turner 12:00 and 1:00
  • Feb.11-Heritage Elem. Woodburn 8:30 and 9:30 and 1:00
  • Feb.12-St.Paul Parochial Sch. 8:15 and 9:15
  • Feb.12-Queen of Peace Sch. 1:00 and 2:00

This outreach effort enables the Aquarium to extend its educational services to schoolchildren in rural and other underserved communities annually who might not otherwise be able to travel to the coast to visit the Aquarium.

In addition to being used for outreach to schools and for offsite teacher workshops, the van is also employed to transport children on field excursions, which are a part of the Aquarium’s summer camp program for children ages 2 to 18 years old.

Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium's Website at:



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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.