Last week people around the UK celebrated National Science Week, which means the return of the very successful event: ‘Marine Biologist for a Day’! The Marine Biological Association hosted children of primary and secondary school ages alike for three days of fun and learning at the Laboratory, with the events running all day from Wednesday through to Friday. Each day the children were split into three groups, where they would get to question, listen and learn from some of the MBA’s best.

The Seawater Hall:

Feast your eyes on the array of weird and wonderful fish specimens that are out on display. Try your luck at the supermarket challenge and guess how seaweed is used and consumed in our day-to-day lives. Touch and feel the different textures of the seaweed samples and learn why algae are so much cooler than terrestrial plants!

The Lab:

Weave your own genetic template as children create strands of DNA out of string, or carefully extract the DNA of a strawberry!


Dive into the world of plankton by peering down microscopes at live specimens, freshly collected earlier that day. Design your own plankton out of plasticine and various ‘appendages’ and enter them into an ‘anti race’ where the slowest sinking plankton takes all.

Over the three days that the events ran, it was amazing to see such engagement in marine biology across the generations. There was also such great feedback from the event:

“What an amazing day –I never knew this amazing place and all of these amazing people were right here in Plymouth”

“** and I had a fabulous day in fact so much so she has been running around the house dressed as a scientist, since we arrived home. She told Daddy "I want to be a scientist!"  That is such a compliment to you all: up to now science has not been something she has been inspired by. Thank -you all. I think that is the best feedback you could receive knowing you have inspired a young person. “

This year’s ‘Marine Biologist for a Day’ was so successful but it couldn’t have gone smoothly without everyone who volunteered to help out on the day. A massive THANK YOU goes out to you all, and let’s make next year’s National Science Week even greater!

Belle Heaton and Molly Cansdale

Mar 27, 2019 By MBA Comms