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How can you explore the worlds of knowledge all around you?

Whether you're heading out or staying home, summer offers the chance to broaden your horizons


Snorkeling in clear tropical water

From Bill Nye the Science Guy to Neil Degrasse Tyson, many scientists will agree: science media can be pretty cool, but science in the real world is fascinating. For example, maybe you're starting to think about summer vacation. Are you taking a family trip to the beach this year? The ocean offers abundant opportunities to learn about science in a fun way.

Think about going snorkeling or scuba diving to learn firsthand what the world is like under the ocean.

Take a waterproof camera and snap some pictures of underwater scenery and marine life. When you get back home, compare your pictures to websites to find out how many types of marine life you found.

Before you go, learn about the types of animals and marine life that are in the area as well as the history of the area. For example, if you are going to Hawaii, Hanauma Bay in Oahu features more than 50 species of fish. And it doesn't have to be Hawaii! There are cool aquatic adventures to be had from the gulf coast to your local lake or river.

If you aren't going to the beach, you can still do tons of activities to learn about science—many of them in your own backyard. Look up a star map on the Internet, on your smart phone, or in a book. Then look up at the night sky in your backyard, or, if need be, go to a spot where you can get away from city lights. Identify as many constellations as you can and write them down. Then go back and figure out how far away those stars are from Earth.

Visit National Geographic for fun information about marine life and astronomy: