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What is a nurdle?

By: The Woodlands Children's Museum | Published 11/01/2021

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On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Girl Scout Troop #109004 visited the museum and provided information about nurdles, small plastic pellets that are melted down in factories to create plastic products. These small, multi-colored, pee-sized pellets spill off of trucking and shipping vessels and spill into the sea by the thousands, polluting the water and washing ashore on beaches.  They can also resemble food to sea animals and become harmful to marine life.

To raise awareness about nurdle pollution in the ocean, troop members Ava Lin, Deeksha Lankala and Naomi Dowling collected nurdles during three trips to Sylvan Beach in La Porte, Texas.  They then created a collaborative art project with the nurdles entitled “Octopus’ Message” and presented it to The Woodlands Children’s Museum for display.  The painting shows an octopus holding a plastic bottle and includes many of the nurdles collected at Sylvan Beach.

“A profound statement put forth by these young ladies whose awareness in protecting the environment shows that you are never too young to help do your part in the world,” stated Angela Colton, Executive Director of The Woodlands Children’s Museum.

Troop members also shared information about The Nurdle Patrol, a citizen science project run by the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.  Through the work of volunteers, who collect, locate, identify, and record the amount of nurdles in our environment, the Nurdle Patrol has been able to map the coast lines and identify which areas are the most saturated with unwanted plastic pellets.  The danger of nurdles isn’t only a threat to marine animals and birds, but also to our water supply.  Nurdles have been found to absorb harmful bacteria and chemicals that contaminate the water.

The Girl Scout artwork “Octopus’ Message” will be on display at the museum along with information about nurdles and the Nurdle Patrol.  Additional information can also be found at NurdlePatrol.org.

Guests at the museum can participate in a special hands-on program on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, from 10:00am – 12:00pm entitled “Nifty Nature-Nurdle Alert” to discover what nurdles are and how they affect our environment.

About The Woodlands Children’s Museum
The Woodlands Children’s Museum, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was founded out of a desire to meet the community’s proven need for a positive environment where children and their families can learn, play, and make special memories throughout the year. At the museum, fun and learning go hand in hand, whether children are creating art, singing along to a musical performance or conducting a science experiment. The museum also has made it a priority to bring children multi-ethnic and multicultural experiences that celebrate cultural and global differences and strengthen common bonds. Programs frequently are delivered in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, always with the goal of making a positive difference in the life of a child. woodlandschildrensmuseum.org.

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