UW News

April 30, 2019

Explore and dive to the depths of Puget Sound May 4 with UW’s aquatic science open house

kids looking at science things

Activities from the 2018 aquatic science open house.Nicole Peterson

Families, students and children are invited to get their hands wet on Saturday with “Our Watery World,” the University of Washington’s second annual aquatic science open house.

This free and family-friendly afternoon of hands-on learning will feature tours of a research boat, a Puget Sound invertebrate tank and more from 1 to 4 p.m. May 4 in fishery sciences and oceanography buildings on campus.

See a recap of this year’s event

The event’s graduate student organizers wanted to spark an interest in STEM topics for K-12 students, as well as highlight and foster a connection among aquatic science organizations in the greater Seattle area.

“We hope to build greater accessibility for students from all levels and communities to connect with people in STEM, through providing the opportunity to engage with people working already within the field of aquatic science,” said Alex Lincoln, a UW graduate student in aquatic and fishery sciences and one of the event’s organizers.

kids learning about science

Kids learn about fish and other aquatic animals during last year’s open house.Nicole Peterson

Now in its second year, the event is a collaboration among the Students Explore Aquatic Sciences outreach program, the ARGO outreach program, the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the School of Oceanography. This year, participants can visit even more science labs and engage in hands-on activities on topics spanning freshwater to oceans, microbes to whales, and everything in between.

In addition to learning about ocean robotics, narwhals and sea otters, visitors can stop by labs within each school, plus tour the Burke Museum’s fish collection and go on board the research vessel Rachel Carson. Families and students of all ages will be able to connect and chat with scientists and researchers in the oceanography, ecology, economics and fisheries management fields.

kids looking at tank of water animals

One of the exhibits at last year’s open house.Nicole Peterson

More than 20 booths will be stationed inside the Fishery Sciences Building and Ocean Sciences Building where visitors can learn about topics such as invertebrates and marine mammals in Puget Sound, seabird science, and what DNA can tell us about fish and shellfish, to name a few.

Visitors can engage with UW graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty, as well as scientists from aquatic-focused organizations in the greater Seattle area. Last year, experts from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center presented their research on topics such as organisms on the bottom of Puget Sound and groundfishes in Alaska.

As the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences celebrates its 100th birthday, visitors can jump back in time and walk through a timeline of the school’s history on display celebrating its achievements and milestones.

The open house event is free and open to the public. Limited street parking is available in the area, and there also is a UW parking garage on Brooklyn Avenue.

Story by Faiza Khalid, University of Washington Bill and Mimi Gates intern