Aquariums – whether they are small and in your home or large and in an expansive complex – are some of the best educational tools around. It is one thing to read about a fish in books; it is another to see that same fish swimming in front of you, just a slab of glass separating you from one of earth’s most beautiful creatures. Sometimes a patron gets the opportunity to become a part of the aquarium.
You are fourth grader and today is the day your class is visiting the local aquarium. Not only will you go on a guided tour, but you will also participate in one of the exhibits. The excitement alone fuels the yellow school bus on its trip to the aquarium. You wonder what you will be doing at the aquarium. Will you be swimming with the fish? Will you be feeding them? Your head is spinning. That was the feeling many students got when they took a trip to The Living Planet Aquarium.
The Living Planet Aquarium recently worked with fourth-graders from Castle Dale Elementary School. In the article, “Fourth-graders leave their mark at Living Planet Aquarium,” Emilee Eager of The Deseret News writes, “A pair of Styrofoam mannequin heads featuring their [the fourth-graders] signatures will be displayed in the new Deep Sea Gallery opening in December in the new Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.” While Styrofoam heads are not quite swimming with the fish, it was still a cool experience for the kids.
The mannequin heads are a part of a water pressure exhibit. Aquarium officials educated the students on water pressure as well as the idea of art in general. The kids were very excited to have their signatures on the heads. Chris Barela, art director for the The Living Planet Aquarium, said, “Not a lot of museums have (deep sea exhibits) right now. (The new gallery) will allow kids to be fully encompassed by what they normally wouldn’t.”
Barela’s words ring true. That is the point of aquariums, to encompass kids in a world unknown. The goal is to ignite kids’ passions. In this case, Styrofoam heads provided an illuminating look at water pressure. If you have a personal aquarium, consider following The Living Planet Aquarium’s example and come up with fun activities to do at home with your kids!
Are you craving more Styrofoam heads? You can find Eager’s article here.
*Image courtesy of Peter Griffin