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Woods Hole Science Stroll Offers Free Family Science Activities

July 26, 2019

Walk into a life-size inflatable humpback whale, see live octopus and squid, examine ocean plankton and fish earbones under microscopes, tour some vessels, and learn about ocean robots and other cool technology used to find and film marine animals. This free family event on Saturday, August 10, features lots of things to see and do!

Table with whale bones and information hosted by NOAA staff during the Woods Hole Stroll.

Walk inside a life-size inflatable humpback whale! See live octopuses and squid! Examine ocean plankton and tiny fish earbones though microscopes! Get a peek at cool technology used to find and film marine animals!

These are just some of the many activities planned by more than a dozen organizations in Woods Hole during the 2019 Woods Hole Science Stroll. The free public event, offering something for the entire family, takes place on Saturday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Water Street in Woods Hole.

Mom and children view animals in small tanks

Octopus and squid in tanks attracted a lot of interest (as did shiny stickers!) at a Marine Biological Laboratory exhibit during the 2018 Woods Hole Science Stroll. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries

Stroll activities include a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter search-and-rescue demonstration (weather and operations permitting), tours of several smaller research and Coast Guard vessels, a chance to see instruments that explore the deep sea, and learning about whales and sea turtles, fish living in local waters, plastics in the ocean, and much more.

Lots of Hands-on Activities, Demonstrations

The 72-foot research vessel Gloria Michelle will be open for tours at the NOAA Fisheries Woods Hole Laboratory dock. A U.S. Coast Guard 29-foot response boat will also be open for tours at the NOAA Fisheries dock, with other Coast Guard displays and exhibits nearby.

Sharkcam, an autonomous underwater vehicle designed to track and film sharks, on display

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution science stroll display featured Sharkcam, an autonomous underwater vehicle designed to track and film sharks. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries

Demonstrations and kids activities will be available along Water Street from the WHOI Ocean Science Discovery Center at 15 School Street to NOAA’s Woods Hole Laboratory at the end of Water Street, which includes the Woods Hole Science Aquarium.

Climate change, marine debris and ocean exploration will be featured in exhibits at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution dock. Some of the most advanced ocean robots in the world will also be on display, along with exhibits on research in the Ocean Twilight Zone and how scientists measure earthquakes underwater. A science documentary featuring middle and high school students and a presentation on the history and diversity of science in Woods Hole will also be offered.

Zephyr Marine Center at 97 Water Street will show an underwater video taken in local waters, some underwater instruments used in research, and the augmented topographic modeling system.

The Marine Biological Laboratory will offer living animal exhibits under tents at 127 Water Street and fish printing for kids at the MBL Club, next door to their visitor center at 100 Water Street.

Waterfront Park Exhibits

Instruments and exhibits from the U.S. Geological Survey in Waterfront Park, Woods Hole

U.S. Geological Survey instruments and exhibits are among many set-up in Waterfront Park as part of the  Woods Hole Science Stroll. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries

Waterfront Park will be the site for interactive and informational displays from a number of local organizations, including Woods Hole Science and Technology Education Partnership, Falmouth Water Stewards, Skip the Straw, 500 Women Scientists, Woods Hole Historical Museum, and WCAI - the Cape, Coast and Islands NPR Station.

Learn more about the partnership between regional K-12 school districts and Woods Hole science and technology organizations to expand science learning and teaching resources. Learn about bees, decorate a pot and plant a pollinator plant you can take home. Find out about how science is part of your everyday life, and how to reduce single-use plastics in the environment. Check out reprints of historical photographs and publications about the long history of science in Woods Hole, learn to read signal flags, play science bingo, learn about the science of sound, and maybe even be interviewed for WCAI's Living Lab Radio.

 U.S. Coast Guard helicopter recovers a swimmer during a search and rescue demonstration in Woods Hole Harbor

U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration with a swimmer in Great Harbor, Woods Hole, is part of the Woods Hole Science Stroll (weather and operations permitting). Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries

The Sea Education Association will offer a mix of displays and activities on marine and nautical science featuring cool critters, rock from a newly formed volcanic island, plastic marine debris and knot tying.  Maps and satellite imagery used by climate scientists to understand our rapidly changing world will be featured at the Woods Hole Research Center exhibit. Scientists will explain how they use cartography to analyze data and to communicate climate change to the world, and several mapping projects for children will be offered. The U.S. Geological Survey will conduct a drone demonstration, show model simulations of water levels during Hurricane Sandy, display different instruments used in their research, and connect via telepresence with a Cape Cod survey underway at sea.

Among the many exhibits offered at the NOAA Fisheries Lab will be those on whales and sea turtle research, fish biology, water chemistry and plankton, Atlantic salmon, ocean-surface drifters that track surface currents, and cooperative research programs underway with the commercial fishing industry. The NOAA Lab’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium, featuring 100 species of marine animals and a touch tank, will be open for this event, with a life-size inflatable walk-in humpback whale on display nearby (weather permitting).

Woods Hole Science Stroll Partners

Participating organizations in the 2019 Woods Hole Science Stroll are:  Marine Biological Laboratory, NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Sea Education Association, U.S. Coast Guard, United States Geological Survey, Woods Hole Film Festival, Woods Hole Historical Museum, Woods Hole Science and Technology Education Partnership, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Research Center, 500 Women Scientists, Falmouth Water Stewards, Skip the Straw, WCAI, and Zephyr Education Foundation.

Limited off-street parking is available. Visitors are encouraged to ride their bikes or take the WHOOSH trolley from Falmouth to Woods Hole village. For more information and a map, please visit the  Woods Hole Science Stroll website.


For more information, please contact Shelley Dawicki.

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on September 10, 2021