Story Resources

Ocean inspiration; how-to’s for filmmaking, poetry and graph; ocean data, science and more!


Free Poetry and Art workshop at Tacoma Art Museum

Come get inspiration from works of art at the Ocean Fest Neighborhood Night at Tacoma Art Museum! Explore how artists have expressed ideas about oceans and water, learn about ekphrastic poetry (a special type of poetry inspired by art), and write some poetry of your own. Details coming soon.

Free Ocean Fest filmmaking workshop

What: Storyboarding, narrative, camera techniques, editing, audio and Q&A from pro filmmakers at Waka Waka Studios. Equipment for loan from Tacoma Public Library.
Where/when: tba
Cost: Free.


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 Oct. 27 and Nov. 14 (2020 dates coming soon), 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. 9:30am-4pm.

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.


Check out film 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.

Check out free library how-to books/ebooks

How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck

Digital Filmmaking for Kids for Dummies

Shooting Video To Make Learning Fun
(ebook available with your Library Card)

Filmmaking 101

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 local middle schools.

Poetry writing for beginners online



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

Endangered orcas and Washington’s plan to save them

And you should enter in other competitions, too!

From the Bow Seat, an international ocean awareness contest (prizes up to $1,500) – deadline June 17

National Young Arts Foundation (all disciplines) – apply June-Oct

President’s Environmental Youth Award (can be an ocean project or film) – deadline Feb. 1