4 June 2009 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has teamed up with a popular animated television show about submarines – “Dive Olly Dive!” – to teach children about the world’s underwater cultural heritage.
UNESCO will use characters from the show on its website and in printed materials distributed to classrooms worldwide in a continuing campaign to protect underwater archaeological heritage, the agency said in a news release.
‘“Dive Olly Dive!’ has done a wonderful job introducing children to the importance of caring for the environment and submerged archaeological sites and we look forward to working with them on stories about shipwrecks and the ancient ruins that make up our underwater cultural heritage,” UNESCO said.
“The characters are friendly and engaging, and they will be a great aid in our efforts to reach children in an entertaining and easily understood way in every corner of the globe.”
The high-definition, 3D computer-generated animation show follows underwater escapades of two young research submarines-in-training, who live in a deep-sea research centre. Its stories educate children on the delicate nature of the ecosystems and submerged archaeological sites beneath the oceans. As part of the agreement, UNESCO is serving as a consultant to the show, as the series begins production on its second season.
“We are honoured that UNESCO has chosen the characters to be an integral part of their educational mission,” said Cynthia Money, of the Los Angeles-based Mike Young Productions/MoonScoop Group that produces the show.
“Through our meetings, everyone involved in producing the series has learned much more about underwater archaeological sites. UNESCO has presented incredible story ideas based on actual underwater discoveries, and we look forward to translating them into exciting storylines in season two.”
The show airs on PBS Sprout in the United States, Disney Channel and France 5 in France, KI.KA in Germany, TVE in Spain and dozens more channels worldwide.
The UN agency said the agreement was part of its education programme in the framework of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. The Convention was adopted in 2001 to improve the safeguarding of such heritage, which includes ancient shipwrecks, submerged ruins and underwater caves containing archaeological vestiges.
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