The World Ocean Observatory is pleased to announce the development of a WORLD OCEAN AQUARIUM, a virtual gaming experience for students ages 10 through 18, that will enable visitors on any internet-connected device to engage with the marine environment and the many educational services and goal-oriented activities. such as operating an ROV, collecting species samples, visiting hydrothermal vents,
Through computer gaming software and method of delivery to appeal to contemporary users, WOA simulates a physical aquarium--showcasing species and habitat in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres--and will offer student users a variety of goals-based activities such as operating a manned submersible in a variety of ocean locales around the globe; collecting water samples and marine species; taking soil samples; visiting an oil spill or a plastic gyre; visiting hydro-thermal vents, seamounts, and polar regions; exploring NOAA’s Science on a Sphere; and watching documentaries and short films in a virtual aquarium theater.
For school and maritime museum settings, the inclusion of the WORLD OCEAN AQUARIUM will allow for the addition of the natural ocean context to its educational programs and outreach through a digital visit by visitors, students, or a guided tour led by an educator. Access would be enabled through certain common devices into homes, classrooms, and other venues – including projection in physical spaces – to enhance the understanding of the relationships between humans and the ocean.