The Central Caribbean Marine Institute is hosting an interactive virtual reality experience called “Reefs Go Live” at the Cayman Islands National Gallery on Saturday.

Alongside presentations by CCMI, there will be activities for children and a video and Q&A session. The exhibition will include an introduction to the “Reefs Go Live” educational program, which is a virtual gateway through which school children and members of CCMI can watch a live feed as divers explore the reefs around Little Cayman.

CCMI’s education team is developing the “Reefs Go Live” pilot project to help transform how the ocean is taught about at schools, using virtual live experience methods to connect students and the public to real-time coral reef activity in an informal science setting.

Using high-tech, full-face masks, specialized cameras, and streaming computer equipment, divers and scientists can deliver live lessons from the underwater and lab environment. The masks have in-built microphones and headphones so the divers can interact with the crew on the dive boat and speak directly to teachers and pupils in their classrooms.

Tom Sparke, CCMI’s education program manager, explained, “A series of lessons had been developed around the national curriculum, ranging from a broad spectrum of topics to very specific lessons such as the tagging of lionfish and exploring of a shipwreck.”

The educational program is the latest by CCMI and is being held to help mark the third International Year of the Reef.

The event will be held at 1:30-3 p.m. on Saturday, at the Dart Auditorium.

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