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Science Museum Oklahoma features deep-sea exhibit



Ahoy, matey! Climb aboard for a deep-sea exploration.

An adventure awaits young oceanic explorers at "Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure," an interactive exhibit with games and more than 300 marine and pirate artifacts.

The exhibit is on display at Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd.

Climb aboard the "Quarter Deck" and marvel at treasures of gold and silver coins that were recovered from three shipwrecks " most notably the SS Republic " and carefully restored and preserved.

Shaundra North, the museum's communications coordinator, said the exhibit "encourages kids to think about the whole of a shipwreck discovery."

"There's several parts and layers," she said. "It's not as simple as digging up a few gold coins."

Kids can challenge their exploration skills with the hand remote-operated, seven-ton "Zeus" navigation machine, mimicking the underwater robot used by Odyssey Marine Explorations, which acts as explorers' eyes and hands on the ocean floor.

Pirate life is also detailed through interactive exhibit elements and a game where kids can create their own fictional buccaneer and young sea-voyagers will learn how to identify ships by their sails.

"Pirate life is fantasized in our society and we really want to bring to light how they lived on the high seas and, at that time, what technology they used," North said.

The historical Civil War shipwreck of the SS Republic was discovered beneath 1,700 feet of Atlantic ocean by Odyssey explorers in 2003. The side-wheel steamer was on a supply route to New Orleans when a hurricane off the coast of Savannah, Ga., sunk the ship on Oct. 25, 1865. Exhibit visitors can scroll over a photo mosaic " comprised of 2,000 digital photos " of the ship on the ocean floor.

Museum and exhibit admission is $17.90 for adults, $15.70 for seniors and $14.70 for children. For more information, call 602-6664.

"Natalie Burkey

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