New 4th Episode of The Adventures of Zack and Molly, Deep-Ocean Science for Kids

Zack (left) and Molly (right) in “The Adventures of Zack and Molly” provided by ECOGIG.

Zack (left) and Molly (right) in “The Adventures of Zack and Molly” provided by ECOGIG.

The award-winning animated series “The Adventures of Zack and Molly” released a new episode of kid-friendly science content about the deep ocean. The 3.5-minute film describes mysterious hydrothermal vents and the superhero Beggiatoa, bacteria that live and thrive in the extreme and toxic conditions surrounding the vents.

This educational video series, which is connected to the Next Generation Science Standards, has an accompanying Learning Guide that provides discussion points, hands-on activities, and other resources. The videos are also available with Spanish subtitles. All are available at https://ecogig.org/zackandmolly.

The series has won several awards including, the 2018 Best Animation award at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, the 2018 Award of Excellence: Nature / Environment / Wildlife at the Best Shorts Competition, the 2019 Award of Merit: Southern Shorts Awards, and the 2019 Award of Distinction: Best Shorts Competition Humanitarian Awards. The Best Shorts Competition recognizes media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity and contribute to profound social change.

Thirty-three film festivals around the world have showcased and honored the series, including the 2019 Kids Video Connection Children’s Film Festival, the 2019 Columbus International Film Festival, the 2019 International Oceans Film Festival, the 2018 Green Earth Film Festival, the 2018 Miami Short Film Festival, and 2018 Moondance International Film Festival.

The series is the result of a partnership that grew from an idea hatched at the 2015 Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, where marine scientist Samantha Joye (University of Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Marine Sciences) and artist Jim Toomey (an award-winning cartoonist and filmmaker) met. For three years, they, along with Sara Beresford and Emily Davenport (University of Georgia education and public outreach coordinators), weaved research from the ECOGIG consortium (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) into an animated educational resource.  

“The ECOGIG program allowed us to invest in public outreach in an unprecedented way,” said Joye. “It has been incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to work with Jim to develop a novel way to reach the public – especially kids! – and share the importance of our work on deep ocean ecosystems and its relevance to ocean health.”

For more background information about the series, go to https://ecogig.org/zackandmolly or read Deep Ocean Science for Older Kids! The Adventures of Zack and Molly, The #DeepSeaDuo.

By Nilde Maggie Dannreuther. Contact maggied@ngi.msstate.edu with questions or comments.

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The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit https://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.

© Copyright 2010-2020 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – All Rights Reserved. Redistribution is encouraged with acknowledgement to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Please credit images and/or videos as done in each article. Questions? Contact web-content editor Nilde “Maggie” Dannreuther, Northern Gulf Institute, Mississippi State University (maggied@ngi.msstate.edu).