National TV Show Visits Virginia Institute of Marine Science

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The Aqua Kids pose for a photo while filming a scene on underwater gliders with VIMS Assistant Professor Donglai Gong. (Courtesy Virginia Institute of Marine Science)
The Aqua Kids pose for a photo while filming a scene on underwater gliders with VIMS Assistant Professor Donglai Gong. (Courtesy Virginia Institute of Marine Science)

Aqua Kids, a children’s TV show that aims to teach kids ages 4 to 7 about marine conservation, spent two weeks in the month of July filming at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The cast of Aqua Kids interviewed scientists at both the Gloucester Point and Wachapreague campuses of VIMS.

They also helped researchers with several ongoing projects, including reestablishing scallops to the Eastern Shore, studying terrapin turtles with the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and collecting animals for the annual Juvenile Fish and Blue Crab Survey.

The segments filmed will appear in several different episodes of the show’s upcoming 11th season, which will premiere Oct. 1 on WTVZ.

Ken Moore, a professor at VIMS, was interviewed for a planned episode on sea grasses. He enjoyed working with the Aqua Kids and emphasized the value of early exposure to science education in a recent news release from VIMS.

“Working with a younger audience is really important because they’re our next generation of citizens and scientists,” Moore said. “[The Aqua Kids] asked the type of questions that need to be asked, and that need to have answers.

The cast focused on several different topics during their time filming at VIMS, including blue crabs, oysters, underwater gliders and even parasites.

“The cast and crew had a incredible week at VIMS,” said George Stover, producer of Aqua Kids. “The research they are doing is critical to the health of the Bay and its surrounding waterways, wetlands, and wildlife. The episodes featuring the VIMS scientists will be highly educational and informative.”

VIMS is just one of several national and international locations that Aqua Kids has visited in the course of filming. Episodes are broadcast weekly on more than 130 stations across the United States.

“I think it’s a great program and something everyone will be able to benefit from no matter what age,” Moore said.