GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - The 37th annual Coast Day returns on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, at the University of Delaware's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
This year's theme, "Building Resilient Coastal Communities," explores measures Delawareans can take to keep the coast thriving. A showcase exhibit will highlight hurricane preparedness, coastal planning and research on topics like groundwater safety and wave dynamics. UD researchers will explain how they track weather conditions to inform emergency responders, and visitors can learn how to take proper precautions to secure their homes during storms and flooding.
Keeping with the "building" theme, new this year a special exhibit of ships made out of Lego blocks will be on view in the Cannon Laboratory. Constructed by former ship designer William S. McKinley Jr., the TEACH FLEET (Technology's Effects And Contributions Highlighted For Learning Ecological Environmental Topics) display is the largest collection of Lego ships in the world.
The exhibit includes about 75 ship models of real-life seafaring vessels that span up to 6 feet in length, ranging from tugboats to modern aircraft carriers.
"If a ship has an engine, then it's in the collection," McKinley said. "Each design is made to be an accurate representation of a type of a ship."
McKinley built the ships to educate students and the public about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), naming each ship after a female or minority contributor to those fields. The Lego show also helps raise awareness of environmental topics.
"TEACH FLEET is a perfect fit for Coast Day," said Chris Petrone, event chair and education specialist with Delaware Sea Grant. "It is such an engaging way to learn about marine careers and the environment, while perhaps inspiring kids to build their own ships at home."
Elsewhere at Coast Day in the ever-popular Food Festival, an Oyster Shucking Contest is being introduced for competitors to try their hands at prying open oysters while on the clock. Other contestants will vie for the title of "Delaware's Best Crab Cakes" at the Crab Cake Cook-Off, and local chefs will be handing out free soup samples at the Seafood Chowder Challenge.
Find out more here: http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2014/sep/Coast_Day_2013-091613.html