Story Resources


Free days at the zoo:

One big barrier to students entering the story contest might be that they have never seen ocean creatures in real life. Now they can – for free! On certain days, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is free to City of Tacoma residents with ID. Students and families can see sharks, fish and giant Pacific octopus up close. Visit for dates.

Free Third Thursdays at the Foss Waterway Seaport:

Every third Thursday the Foss Waterway Seaport is free from 5-8pm: Marine science, touch tank animals, whale skeletons and more.



Free Ocean Fest filmmaking workshop:

When: Sat. Feb. 23, 2019.
What: Storyboarding, narrative, camera techniques, editing and Q&A from pro filmmakers at Waka Waka Studios.
Where: Tacoma Public Library main branch, 1102 S. Tacoma Ave.
Cost: Free, but must register here by Feb. 10

Check out equipment for free:

The Main Branch of Tacoma Public Library has a Digital Media Lab where you can learn about and borrow film equipment. You can check out video cameras, tripods, audio recorders and reserve a computer with movie editing software.

Filmmaking how-to’s:

Moviemaking 101

Wikihow: Make a Short Film

Five Rules for Writing a Short Film

9 Tips for Great Short Films

Making Films on Your Phone

General Filmmaking

Common core and filmmaking



Learn to write a poem:

Local nonprofit Write253 holds after-school writing groups at Baker, Giaudrone and Jason Lee middle schools.

Poetry writing for beginners:



How to make different kinds of graphs with Excel

How to make an interactive online Tableau graph


Some great ocean graphs (don’t copy – use for inspiration!):

Marine exchange infographics

Whale research on orca populations

Statista microplastics

Understanding climate change



Whale Research Center orca data

WEC links to ocean databases

WDFW Salmon data

West Coast ocean data

NANOOS Network of ocean data sites



Learn about ocean problems like orca decline, plastic, pollution and warming.

NOAA: The facts about the ocean trash problem

Annie Crawley: Inspiring ocean videos, plus the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

UWT finding microplastics everywhere in Puget Sound (scroll to videos, “UW 360”)

Learn about local chemical and oil pollution from Puget Sound Keeper

How climate change is affecting our oceans, from United Nations scientists

The latest on ocean warming from the New York Times

Ocean Pollution and Marine Debris Lesson Plans


And you should enter in other competitions, too!

From the Bow Seat, an international ocean awareness contest with a $1,000 – $1,500 first prize

National Young Arts Foundation