The North Carolina Seafood Festival worked with local marine scientists from NOAA, University of North Carolina's Institute of Marine Sciences (UNC-IMS), North Carolina State University (NCSU), and North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) to host local middle school studentsfor an educational program in Morehead City, NC. "NC Seafood Smart!" welcomed over 60 sixth and seventh graders to learn the science behind maintaininga safe and sustainable supply of seafood for the festival and families on October 2, 2015. Students also explored a variety of technologies and careers in marine sciences.
Students and teachers participated in six different programs:
- Oysters: Food for Us and Habitat for Our Fisheries (UNC - IMS)
- You CAN Ask a Fish How Old it is! (NOAA, NCDMF)
- Offshore Reefs: "What? We Have Reefs off NC?" (UNC-IMS, NOAA)
- Keeping it Legal! (NCDMF)
- Please! Do Not Litter! (NCSU)
- Careers in Marine Science (NOAA)
To test their knowledge after cycling through the programs, students and teachers competed in a NC Seafood Smart Quiz Bowl.Although this was the first year the NC Seafood Festival hosted an education event, the board and participating marine labs hope to make this an annual offering for middle school students.
Support was also provided by NC SeaGrant and other local partners.