The Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO) carried out an activity on board the Chilean Navy research vessel Cabo de Hornos. The activity was conducted in the framework of the IMPAC4 congress and under the auspices of the scientific camp “Nuestro Océano” (our ocean).
Ocean acidification, zooplankton respiration and demonstrations of the launching of fishing nets prior analysis of water and organisms were the highlights of the event that gathered together 50 high school students from across the country, in addition to 29 teachers and 16 monitors, to learn about the work in situ of scientists on board.
The experience lasted 3 hours, during which Cabo de Hornos navigated in Coquimbo Bay while workshops were hosted by IMO scientists Rubén Escribano, Leissing Frederick, Paulina Aguayo, Eduardo Navarro, Daniel Toledo, Victor Aguilera and Maria Valladares.
The activity was highly successful, completely meeting the expectations not only of the students but also of the IMO scientific team. With regard to the occasion, IMO postdoc Paulina Aguayo commented: “We usually conduct this activity at the university. Carrying it out in movement on board a scientific vessel such as Cabo de Hornos is rewarding and motivating, because we can show people the real oceanographic expedition experience, how science is done at sea and we can get out of the lab for a while.”
Dr. Victor Aguilera, a junior researcher at IMO, added that it is important to generate interest in the topic in a country like Chile. “I think we have the opportunity to reach a public interested in the information. They are concerned about their future careers. Besides, we can sow the seeds of marine sciences among young people, that is, the new generations. The idea is to inspire them to take up this study program. We should not turn our backs on the ocean. We need new scientists with new skills and if we can contribute something to that, our purpose is fulfilled,” said Aguilera, who works at both IMO and CEAZA.
The event was characterized by enthusiasm and good fellowship, as Benjamín Cofré, a student at Saint Augustin School in Concepción, noted: “Before beginning the scientific activities, they conducted activities to encourage our leadership skills, and convinced us that we can make a change. These are opportunities that help us to grow as a person, mainly for those of us who don’t always have these opportunities. We rely on the ocean, so we have to know about it”, concludes the young student.
This is the second year that IMO has taken part in this activity and both the results and the evaluation are positive, as young students are becoming more interested in marine sciences.