During a workshop we hosted at Mar Motto in Faro, Portugal, we discussed the applicability of VR for marine conservation with people from different fields such as science, business and education.
Cyan Planet joined both Portuguese and international artists at Mar Motto. The goal was to create and showcase a collective message to aid in the conservation of our oceans. Mar Motto is a collaborative exhibition of the arts that aims to raise awareness on challenges that the organisms of our oceans are facing. Cyan Planet was invited to set up a workshop to engage the public further and encourage their participation and build a discussion around the topic. The result was a deeply interactive and highly memorable experience for over 200 visitors.
The annual exhibition was organised by Sciaena, a Portuguese NGO. Sciaena works to promote marine conservation through education, political intervention and science communication. The importance of science communication has long been underestimated. Luckily, creative and proactive measures are taken by organisations like Sciaena to help bridge the existing gap between science and the general public. We were given the opportunity to stand alongside Sciaena on this mission in Faro, in the south of Portugal. In early June, we combined the power of art, oceans and VR.
Cyan Planet had the pleasure of leading a workshop on ‘Virtual Reality as a Tool for Marine Conservation’. VR works like a magnet on curious people, or anyone interested in technology, education, multimedia or entertainment. As a result, the variety of participating people for the event was astonishing. The prevailing message on the need for marine conservation was successfully passed on. A dialogue was created, not only between marine scientists but between the general public, as teenagers, parents, and even grandparents tried the VR experience.
The workshop showcased our completed projects "One Day as a Researcher", "Seychelles Coral Reef Restoration", and a proof of concept locomotion mechanism of “How is the Water”. Exposure to these projects created fruitful discussions that yielded new ideas, valuable insights and even potential projects for the future. It was an uplifting experience to be able to share our passion, fascination and preoccupation for the marine environment. The audience was receptive and engaged throughout the whole experience.
Local outreach activities are a great tool to engage the public in science. By creating engagement they ultimately help to change habits, create advocates and raise awareness. We are grateful for all of the input we received during our workshop in Mar Motto, and for the support given by Sciaena, and we are already excited about the next steps of this journey together!