Nearly 3,000 students across 22 elementary schools and seven school districts will attend a new marine conservation program starting January 30th at the Pickens County Performing Arts Center in Liberty.
Called, “Something Very Fishy,” it’s the first of its kind for the Upstate, combining a puppet show and living sea creatures. Educational Entertainment LLC produced the program in conjunction with the Biological Science and Performing Arts departments at Clemson University.
Kathy Prosser, playwright and Director of Educational Entertainment LLC, says the story was based on Clemson University’s research on the dying coral reef systems.
“The story follows how what we do above the surface impacts life below the surface, and then how that affects us above the surface yet again,” she says.
Michal Childress, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Clemson University, says the material is critical for young students to understand. “Essentially all the corals are dying in the Florida Keys and only those people who have been to the Keys would notice,” he says.
The puppet show attempts to explain how adopting more responsible practices like recycling, reducing waste and reusing materials can curb climate change and pollution.
“The more emotions we create help form those neural connections in our brain which make all those messages last a lot longer and be more memorable,” Prosser explains.
After the show, students can visit ten performing arts and science exhibitions, including one with dozens of touch tanks filled with living marine creatures.
“For many kids in the Upstate…they’ve never been to the ocean and so having the ocean come to them is really important for them to make a connection,” Childress says.
Field trips to “Something Very Fishy” will be going on through February 8th. There is one public performance scheduled for Saturday, February 9th at 10am. Tickets are 15 dollars.