Dunbar science club

On Saturday 7th December, OSC hosted a workshop entitled ‘Communication in marine mammals’ for Dunbar science club.

The aim of the workshop was to show how marine mammals use sound and to highlight the issues surrounding manmade noise in the ocean. To do this we used musical instruments, and a killer whale hat…


Our consultant Erica kicked off the workshop with a presentation on marine mammals. Addressing questions such as what is a marine mammal, what do they use sound for, and why is it so important? The children were then set the task of using their echolocation to catch as many fish as possible.


Clicks were represented with claps, so our blindfolded killer whale had to keep clapping until facing a fish that clapped back, returning the echo. Moving three steps in any direction, our killer whale ate any fish within an arm’s length away.

To illustrate how noise can affect echolocation we played the game again, but gave out some instruments, and the instruction of make as much noise as possible. Needless to say, it was very loud, and less fish were caught. Making our point nicely.

The workshop concluded with sound clips of some real underwater noise, and a chance for everyone to let out their inner marine mammal through some very vocal impressions.

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