In the heart of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village is the Exploration Zone, where visitors and sailors are inspired and educated about sailing and the ocean. It is also where they can discover continents and cultures across the world through the experience of the sailors competing in the world’s most grueling sailboat race. The Zone opens on May 9 at 10 a.m., and features 22 captivating exhibits on marine science and technology, geography and culture, sustainability and mathematics, all with the support of 20 educational partners and volunteers. There is much to see and do, so take your time, learn, and enjoy.
Exploration Zone Exhibits
SCA Americas—Plant a Seedling
View educational videos on the importance of forests to the environment, learn forest facts, and plant seedlings. Saplings will be donated to the City of Newport for planting.
SCA Americas—Trash Bash
Interactive game for all ages that focuses on the importance of under- standing of how recycling everyday materials works.
Clean Ocean Access, in concert with the Aquidneck Island Land Trust & the Audubon Society of RI—Marine Debris Solutions, Habitat Conservation, and Healthy Watersheds
Marine Debris Solutions will present our comprehensive solution for removal and prevention to improve ocean health. Habitat Conservation is an obstacle course that is fun for all ages and will show you firsthand the challenges that wildlife face. Healthy Watershed model shows the journey a drop of water takes from the sky to our reservoirs and oceans.
5 Gyres Institute
Plastic Pollution and Citizen Science Engagement Opportunities Educational videos, posters and gyre samples showing the global health crisis of plastic pollution and potential solutions. Participants will also learn how to become citizen scientists in tracking plastic pollution on the beach and at sea.
E2SOL LLC—Solar Micro-Grid Facility for Self-Reliance Renewable Power
A micro-grid will demonstrate how solar power can be harnessed to pro- vide an alternative source of power. Participants will learn how it all works, the benefits, and its growing application across a broad spectrum of industry.
Newport Renewables— Solar Energy
Discover the benefits and uses of solar energy on land and sea through picture boards of solar energy, boat races and a solar powered cell phone charging station.
Sailors for the Sea— Ocean Acidifcation
Ocean acidifcation has been described as potentially the greatest environmental threat we face. Through interactive videos and activities participants will learn about what ocean acidifcation is, and how it impacts the ocean.
URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Life in the Bay—What is in a Drop of Water?
Exhibit introducing visitors to the many beautiful and fascinating ocean plants and animals, which are too small to notice with the naked eye. Activities include looking at plankton collected from Narragansett Bay with microscopes, building model plankton, draw ing plankton and learning about monitoring plankton in the bay.
URI Graduate School of Oceanography—Carbon, Oxygen, and Our Breathing Ocean
Through model terraria and aquaria, the public will learn about the importance of the ocean in producing the oxygen we breathe and absorbing carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels. Visitors will also be able to participate in respiration contests.
URI Graduate School of Oceanography—Climate Change, Eyes on the Storm: Hurricanes and Society
Exhibit addresses recent hurricane disasters, exemplifying the need for education and awareness about these large tropical cyclones. Participants will learn about how hurricanes are forecasted, how climate change is impacting these tropical systems, and why it is critical to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season.
RI Sea Grant/Coastal Resources Center—Climate Change and What You Can Do
Participants will learn about the impacts of climate change, including coastal fooding and sea level rise, and what they can do.
NOAA Office for Coastal Management—Resilient Coastal Communities
NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer allows the public to select a geographic location and use the slider bar to simulate various sea level rise scenarios and the corresponding areas that would be impacted by fooding.
NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries— Ship Strikes and Right Whales
Exhibit addressing NOAA’s work to reduce unintended ship strikes and vessel collisions with critically endangered right whales and other species. Rocky, the 20-foot inflatable Right Whale, will also be on display.
URI University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System—Oceanographic Research, People and Platforms
UNOLS helps to coordinate oceanographic research worldwide. Through videos and engaging activities, participants will learn about research equipment, vessels and the people that make this exciting research and exploration.
Inner Space Center—Ocean Exploration
Video presentations of the Inner Space Center’s underwater marine research projects.
Community Sailing— This is Sailing!
Regional and local Community Sailing groups will exhibit gutter boat racing, knot tying and how sailboats work. Participants will also learn how to get involved in community sailing.
US Sailing REACH Program—Simple Machines
Students will learn about simple machines and participate in a simple machine scavenger hunt.
NOAA Office of Coast Survey and NMFS Narragansett Lab—Nautical Charts
Exhibit demonstrating the importance of nautical charts – road maps on the water – including charts of Narragansett Bay. Participants will learn about how NOAA creates these charts and the history of hydrographic surveying.
IYRS School of Technol- ogy and Trades—Process and Possibilities
Two boats built by IYRS, a Moth (carbon fiber) and a tender for the Dorade (classic wooden boat), will be on display. Participants will learn about working with carbon fiber and other composite boat building materials and processes, as well as how composites are being used in a variety of non-marine applications.
Rose Island Lighthouse— Rose Island Interactive Lighthouse Trailer
Explore an interactive model of the Rose Island Lighthouse, in which participants will learn how the solar-powered landmark functions, and about its rain making system.
Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry—Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Educational Vessel
The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be open to the public for tours. Additional dockside activities include a Signal Flag Conversation Game, How Square Riggers Sail, Using Charts to Navigate, Saltiest Sailor Contest, and Sea Shanty Sing Alongs.