2012 has been a banner year, attendance-wise, for the Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport. More than 15,000 people have visited the Union Street attraction --- young people, adults and students learning more about marine life.

In addition, dozens of student-groups have visited the ocean science center. When all is said and done, Executive Director Abbey Spargo anticipates a record number of visitors this year....

During the month of May for example, Spargo says the number of student field trips increased this year by 230% over the same month last year.