Stingray%20WH1.jpg [OceansWide is a new nonprofit based in Maine dedicated to giving the opportunity of deep-sea exploration to youth. The program brings together students, the community, research scientists, and ROV pilots to educate youth through actual ongoing research. A wonderful program that is looking for donations for the purchase of equipment for the program (picture above and below). The statement below is from OceanWide’s President, Buzz Scott. PLEASE LINK TO THIS POST ON YOUR BLOG TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD!]

We’ve done it now!  We started an educational/scientific program called OceansWide and it is taking off like a shot.  Last summer our staff put on a proof of concept program putting kids on a boat with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and actually taught them how to fly it.  For them it was magical and for all of us it was amazing.  We never suspected it would go off this well.  Even the parents who tagged along with us said; “HEY… Where was all this when I was a kid!”  When we started, we thought they might enjoy getting out on the water to see what was going on down below… man was that was an understatement.  They freaked and had such a great time none of them wanted to go ashore!  We also introduced them to friends in the science community who showed them around the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine.  They explored the live labs at the DMC where they had a blast working with the grad students in the lobster farm and learning about the squid they never new existed in the Gulf of Maine.  Then we took them out on the boat for an above water naturalist cruise to see the beauty and mystique that draws us all to the ocean.  It’s amazing; some of these kids live right by the water and never knew any of this existed.  This was a treat for everyone and I mean everyone from the kids and their parents to the scientists and the OceansWide gang!summer06_8.jpg
The program has become such a hit and we’re swamped with requests for this summer.  Needless to say we’re thrilled and we’re ramping it up to get things rockin again this summer.  We’re also creating a program we to take into the middle and high schools of Maine.  It seems we have found a way to make education something they want to be a part of.  We’ve taken mundane out of learning and given them an adventure that they never saw coming.  This wasn’t possible ten years ago and we’re going to take it to the limit! 

summer06_2.jpg This summer we will concentrate on getting out on the water even more than last summer and we’re taking scientists and marine archaeologists along with us as mentors.  Using the submersible (ROV) we can show the campers animals in their natural environment both above and below the water.  The scientists and archaeologists who come along can explain all that we are seeing.  With all the rich biodiversity and history in the Gulf of Maine we’re really going to be able to give em a show.  

We’ve been fortunate this summer; Benthos has donated an ROV for three months.  We’re going to have to lease a boat, but during the summer our goal is to purchase both an ROV and a boat which will give us the freedom to run the summer camp and school programs until the Maine weather forces us to run south where we will offer our program to any school that is interested between New England and Florida.
We could use your help though.  Right now we need funding for this program and soon we’re going to need mentors to continue the ongoing programs in science, art, history and all the other disciplines of learning.  Check us out at www.oceanswide.org or give a shout at [email protected] and thanks for everything.

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