THE BLUE PLANET

WOULD YOU BELIEVE...

  • Seventy one percent of the earth's surface is covered by water.
  • More than 100 billion gallons of water exists for each person living on the earth today.
  • The oceans are deeper than the land is high - the deepest part of the ocean is 7 miles down! If you dropped Mt Everest into the deepest part of the ocean, the top would still be under 2 miles of water!
  • The water in the ocean today is the same water that's been on the earth since the ocean was formed close to 4 billion years ago.
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest. It is so big, it could swallow up every continent, or all of the other oceans combined.
  • Over 90% of the living things in the ocean are members of the plankton family. Without plankton, just about every creature in the ocean food web would disappear.
  • The darkest part of the world is at the bottom of the ocean, yet some of the brightest lights can be seen from spectacular glowing creatures that make their own light known as bioluminescence.
  • There are more than 20,000 kinds of fish and there may be tens of thousands more swimming around down there waiting to be discovered! Over 200,000 different types of plants and animals have been identified already.
  • The Blue Whale is the largest animal to ever live on planet earth measuring up to 110 feet.
  • There are 368 different types of sharks with the whale shark being the biggest fish, measuring up to 59 feet long. The smallest shark is the dwarf dog shark, which measures only 7.9 inches!
  • Fish in the ocean never stop growing - the older they get the bigger they get.
  • You can tell the age of a fish by counting the number of rings on their scales.
  • Jellyfish are neither jelly nor fish - they are made up almost entirely of water and can be smaller than your little fingernail or as big as twelve feet wide with 100-foot tentacles.
  • These are just some of the interesting facts your children will discover in this terrific assembly program!

THE BLUE PLANET

Planet earth is the only planet we know of which is covered by liquid water. Seventy one percent of the earth's surface is covered by water with vast distances between the continents - the land - which are just islands above the surface. The oceans are home to countless plant and animal species. It is the largest habitat on earth, yet, scientists know more about the surface of the moon than they do about the ocean's depths.

This show will help children understand how the oceans were formed, why they are salty and blue, and that the food chain begins with tiny animals and plants called plankton. Children will also begin to realize how important the oceans are and that each of us must do our part in protecting our "Blue Planet" and its inhabitants.

SHADOWS FROM THE DEEP

Opening the show is Michele playing the part of an oceanographer about to go on an adventure. She will teach your students about our four oceans, how they were formed and where they are located.

As land dwelling creatures, we need special equipment to go beneath the waves. Scuba equipment and snorkel gear will be demonstrated and discussed.

Creating a shadow play using a 25' x 12' screen, overhead projectors, and students from your school, Michele will dive into the depths in search of exotic inhabitants. Students are in store for a fun filled journey as Michele creates the illusion of underwater-diving and encounters some outrageous creatures from the deep.

SHARING A FISH TALE

Emerging from her deep-sea dive, Michele introduces "Boris" the shark. Boris is a five-foot life like model of a bull shark that will help Michele explain some of the characteristics all fish have in common. Children love when Boris appears, and Michele has some fun with the audience teaching about the ocean's food chain.

SHADES OF BLUE

If you were to ask most children the color of the ocean they would, of course, tell you emphatically "BLUE". While this is true, at least near the surface, the sunlight is instrumental in reflecting color to give us the shades of blue. Sunlight is even more important to the beginning of the food chain - the creation of single-celled plants called phytoplankton. These plants are the beginning of the food chain and almost all life in the ocean depends on phytoplankton for their food supply. As we go deeper into the ocean, the light begins to fade and life forms become more and more bizarre. In a fantastic slide presentation, children will descend with Michele from the light blue surface waters to the pitch-dark depths, meeting some of the ocean's most fascinating and colorful creatures. In traveling through these shades of blue, students learn about the different levels where life exists, about the food chain, bioluminescence, and many secrets of the deep.

THE REAL MESSAGE

While THE BLUE PLANET is an incredible program teaching children the beauty and diversity of the oceans, the conclusion of the slide presentation shows the reality of how fragile the oceans really are. Michele addresses the effects of oil spills, pesticide pollution, plastics, litter abatement and storm water runoff. She also lets children know they can do something about it to change this devastating problem. Students quickly realize what we throw on the ground finds its way to our storm drains which eventually leads to the oceans. Children leave having a clear sense that by keeping their community clean they also help keep our oceans clean.

This program may be 100% funded by the Clean Communities Program of New Jersey.