The National Oceanography Centre Microplastics Team visits the Winchester Science Centre

We came away feeling that we had made a significant difference as well as having a lot of fun in the process.

On Friday 6 August 2021 the National Oceanography’s Microplastics Team visited the Winchester Science Centre to take part in their ‘Underwater Agents’ event, where we had the opportunity to educate children about the effects plastics have on our ocean.

Professor Richard Lampitt and Dr Alice Horton, supported by University of Southampton students Jamie Purkis, Chloe Way and Freya Radford, set up a wide range of fun activities in the Bio:Space area for visitors to engage in. These activities included a tub of water and sandbox with different types of plastic items in for visitors to pick out, a microscope with a selection of materials so visitors could look at them up close, video footage of plastics on the ocean floor as well as various other educational resources.

We were delighted to speak with so many children and their parents about plastics and how they can change their behaviour to have a positive impact on our planet and were struck by how passionate and eager most were to make a difference. With the centre having a footfall of just over 1,000 people on Friday, we hope we’ve inspired the next generation of scientists and researchers!

Giving us his thoughts on the event, Professor Richard Lampitt said: “It was a real pleasure for the six of us representing NOC to talk about plastic pollution at the WSC. This particular environmental challenge is clearly one of significant concern for the young and not so young and many of them were eager to hear more about it and to learn what they could do on a personal front to help. We had five stands several of which involved hands-on experience and we came away feeling that we had made a significant difference as well as having a lot of fun in the process.”

In addition to this, during the afternoon we sat down for a chat with Richard to find out a bit more about the aims of the event as well as an overview of how him and his team conduct research on Microplastics. Watch the video below.

Find out more on how the NOC researches Microplastics.