Hands-on learning at Coastal Studies Institute open house

Published 4:30 pm Monday, June 20, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) in Wanchese welcomed the community to an open house on a recent Saturday afternoon to tour the facility, learn about current research and interact with faculty and staff.

All floors of the institute were open to the public and many rooms offered interactive, family-friendly activities.

The K-12 summer camp program room invited adults and children to create a 3D model that would harness the energy of the ocean waves. After making the model, participants could test it out in a large tub of water with manually generated waves to see if the model could remain standing and generate power, as tested by an electronic reader.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

“I thought it was interesting that they’re trying to make electricity by utilizing something that we haven’t tried before,” said one 13-year-old visitor.

Another room allowed participants to take part in a virtual reality research study related to water resources.

In other areas of the institute, coastal geoscientists explained what is driving coastal change and how communities can become more resilient in the face of these threats. Ecologists shared research on estuarine systems and how to ensure a future of healthy coastal ecosystems. Maritime archaeologists discussed advanced technology being used to discover new shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast.

Multiple labs were open for tours including a sedimentology lab, a coasts and oceans observing lab, a coastal computing lab and a Miss Caroline Research Vessel acoustics and vibrations lab.

CSI is open year-round to visitors. Led by East Carolina University, CSI focuses on integrated coastal research and education programming centered around the needs, issues and concerns of coastal North Carolinians by bringing together the various disciplines of both the natural and social sciences,” said the organization’s website.

This summer, CSI is offering family programs and youth summer camps. In Nags Head, CSI, along with NSF’s Coastlines and People (COPE), is sponsoring Community Water Corps, a free guided science program that encourages hands-on community-based research about local water concerns.

For more information about CSI, its research or how to get involved, visit www.coastalstudiesinstitute.org.