By: Kim Albins
At this year’s fourth annual St. Petersburg Science Festival I met one of our new Prevention through Education and Outreach partners from the University of South Florida – College of Marine Science. Their project, Clean Community-Clean Coast (4 C’s for short), has the goal of bringing the community of St. Petersburg together to prevent marine debris and to change behavior related to littering. The opening act of the project was a massive, colorful marine debris sculpture. ‘The Current Collections’ a 40ft wide and 30ft high ocean gyre-like sculpture created quite a buzz at Science Fest and received international press coverage.
Children across St. Petersburg helped create parts of the sculpture this past summer turning their trash and marine debris into unique artistic elements for the structure.
At the festival, many school groups received a special ‘sneak peak’ of exhibits and participated in educational games. The festival also featured more than 90 hands-on interactive exhibits drawing thousands of people. Children and adults alike were impressed by the ‘Current Collections’ sculpture and the message about marine debris. Fun (and learning) was had by all!
The sculpture will remain in St. Petersburg for the next six-months and return to Science Festival in St. Petersburg in 2015.
Watch this video to learn how this impressive art and science collaboration came together.
Video Caption: Tom Cawthon of the Poynter Institute filmed/edited the video which shows the key steps in the five-day onsite construction process of the new Current Collections sculpture made from reclaimed plastics and steel in Poytner Park, St. Petersburg. The Poynter Institute for Media Studies will help tell the Clean Coast story and support neighborhood civic engagement via the “Clean Community Forums.”