A trip to the San Antonio Aquarium can be an excellent way to supplement your homeschool curriculum. They offer a wide range of real, tactile, interactive experiences, designed to stimulate the brain by engaging the senses in order to help your child better absorb the information being presented. There is an ocean of possibility, with math and science activities appropriate for every age and grade, from pre-k to high school.
Younger children will enjoy activities designed to educate while entertaining and inspiring. For instance, they can go back in time and take a walk with the dinosaurs, learning about their habitats. Or, they can become junior paleontologists and excavate dinosaur bones in our sand exploration area. They can find the future veterinarian in them with a visit to Dr. Sharky’s Vet Clinic, where they can assist in matching animal pictures to their skeletons in the x-ray laboratory.
Elementary and middle school visitors will enjoy hands on activities designed to test their observation and scientific reasoning skills. Classify animals based on their diet, skeletal structure, and habitat. Learn how omnivores, herbivores, and carnivores have adapted to their environment enabling them to find, hunt, and even eat and digest their food. Young explorers can also learn through hands-on exploration about vertebrates and invertebrates, and why their skeletal structure is important to their survival. Finally, with a visit to the Moon Jelly exhibit, students can discover the fascinating world of the jelly fish, how they move, hunt, and eat. Tiffany Osander, manager at the San Antonio Aquarium, talked to us about these educational tours, “As these young students learn more about the environments and food of these animals, they begin to ask questions about how they can further learn to protect animals and their habitats for years to come, it’s great to see them make the connections.” Osander stresses that The San Antonio Aquarium is more than a fun and educational trip for students to learn about aquatic and marine life, “We really try to stress conservation and teach concepts that will help students understand the human impact as well.”
Teenage explorers are often difficult to impress, however, the San Antonio Aquarium accepts that challenge. Teens will be mesmerized by a live bird demonstration, as the trainers work with the many species of parrots who call the aquarium home. Teens will enjoy learning about animal psychology, and how positive reinforcement is often used to train the birds; don’t be surprised, however, if they try to use the same techniques to extend a curfew. Teens will be equally impressed with the symbiotic relationships demonstrated at the aquarium. They can observe remoras living with sharks or clown fish living with anemones. Maybe they won’t mind sharing a room with their younger sibling, or maybe not once they learn about the invasive species which are taking over certain habitats in the wild, like Lionfish, Black Pacu, and the Burmese Python.
We all know that educational trips to the aquarium can be more fun when experienced with a group of friends, so at the San Antonio Aquarium, there are special field trip opportunities as well. For your group of 10 or more, schedule a 60 to 90-minute guided educational tour where you can interact with, touch, and even feed the marine animals, birds, and even some of the reptiles! Take time to explore the aquarium on your own after the tour, enjoy the exhibits and play areas, or enjoy your own private reserved lunch area for a quiet break before returning to the main aquarium. Additionally, each child will receive a free souvenir, reduced admission into the I-Guana jump Bounce house, and a free “Admit One” pass for each child to use on a future visit to the aquarium. “If your group is studying something specific, we are happy to customize your tour to fit within your specific subject matter, you just need to let us know in advance of your visit.” says Osander.
San Antonio aquarium also offers a wide variety of camps, special events, and overnight visits for students and families. Spend the night at a special, “Sleep with the sharks” event, or suit up for an afternoon of snorkeling with the stingrays. Summer camp has never been cooler, or more exciting, than spending three days working with Aquarium experts while they feed, clean, and learn first-hand about stingrays, sharks, seahorses, reptiles, birds, and even the giant pacific octopus! Special events are always happening at the aquarium during school breaks and holidays, and all through ought the year.
San Antonio Aquarium is an ideal place to come all year long, rain or shine, to enjoy learning, playing, spending time with family, and participating in exciting, hands-on, multi-sensory experiences for students of all ages. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, or sign up to get email updates. Don’t miss out on fun and learning at this unique facility. You need to “SEA to believe”!
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