Creative outreach at OPPLEV Marineholmen in Bergen

The University of Bergen celebrated their 75th anniversary last year, and in connection with that, they organized a large science festival at Marineholmen in Bergen last weekend where they invited scientists to showcase their research to the public. We in the Vent & Seep Fauna project joined forces with other projects such as DeepSeaQuence and the Center for Deep Sea Research to present a stand focusing on life in the deep sea.

The various deep-sea content displayed on our stand. Photos: P. Hribovsek and MH. Eilertsen.

In addition to classical outreach activities, such as posters, HD video and a small exhibition of animals from the deep sea, we had an interactive activity which was hugely popular with the kids: an ROV sampling simulation. 

ROV-simulator in action. Video: P. Hribovsek.

The setup was very DIY with a webcam mounted on a simple mechanical arm (the kind that is used pick up something from the ground), connected to a computer screen. The sampling was taking place behind a curtain, and the person in charge of the sampling arm had to orient themselves based on the image on the screen only, which illustrated well the challenges of remote sampling. Behind the curtain we had bulilt a seafloor landscape with curious and colorful animals, and the task was to sample as many animals as possible within three minutes. The competitive aspect was a hit, and many kids enjoyed trying to beat the scores of their siblings or parents.

Our stand attracted a lot of audience and kids were lining up to try the simulator. Photo: MH Eilertsen.

All in all, we had a lovely day in the sun, with many good conversations with both kids and adults about the wonders of the deep sea, and we look forward to future opportunities to reuse and refine the ROV-game!

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