On Saturday, November 11th I joined fellow STAR Discovery Educators at SeaWorld for a FUNTASTIC day of learning. Staci Goode, a new STAR Discovery Educator, came all the way from Okaloosa County – a nice seven hour drive! We also enjoyed the company of sisters from Flagler County, Claire and Chris, Ted from Polk and then of course Osceola was represented by some fun-tastic stars – Wendy Norton, Debbie Bohanan, and Sylvia. Joanne Hayes from Learning Adds Up was also in town for this great event.
The field trips have all been coordinated via SciTech Treks, which is an organization that helps plan science related field trips for students from around the United States 5th-12th grade here in Florida. All of the students that take an educational journey with SciTech Trek will also receive a Cosmeo account, which will begin the learning and extend it after the trip is over for one year. The teachers have been attending the field trips in order to write pre and post activities using Cosmeo. For more information on these field trips, contact Lyman Carter. Wendy, who has been fortunate enough to attend all field trips so far, said that this one was the best! I have to agree, it was quite a day.
The first thing everyone got was their hand sanitizers, Learning Adds Up pens, shark pen toppers, and of course – their hats. Then after the song, we moved into the classroom with a lesson that had us trying to identify skulls, bones and other artifacts to various animals. I was smart. I joined Wendy, Staci, and Debbie’s team. Wendy had already completed this activity once before and knew most of the answers. What she didn’t know, Staci and Debbie had a good idea of what they were.
Then we went into Wild Arctic. The polar bears were out playing, Spooky (my favorite Beluga Whale) was out swimming, and the boys, Dozier and Garfield (the Walruses) were even in entertainment mode. Rachel, our tour guide from SeaWorld’s Education department, took us to the back where we were able to see some of the various Seals and learn about EEP. Wendy has been fortunate enough to take part in one of SeaWorld’s many programs and sent me a picture to share of her getting a kiss from Spooky.
Lunch was a great treat. I enjoyed my strawberries and getting to know Ted Eldridge from Polk a little bit more. Fascinating Star Educator. Then it was off to see my least favorite animals, Sharks. More than 1,000,000 sharks are killed a year by humans. More than deers or other animals. Joey would be upset at that number, but then he also thinks the humans were wrong for killing Jaws. If they didn’t want to be eaten, they should have stayed out of the water. Chris tried to get the little shark they petted to take a bite of her finger, but instead it jumped out at her.
The pinnipeds had a lot to say. They were fun to feed as they bellowed out demands to throw them a fish, and to not feed the birds. Actually, Joanne had a great talk with the seals and sea lions about getting all their children signed up for Cosmeo through Learning Adds Up so they can earn money for a vacation away from all the tourists. Sounds like he was ready to get on the Internet to learn more!
Then it was off to see the penguins – and we got to see the cutest little baby Puffin! Oh he was adorable! Rachel gave us more information about penguins and aviculture at SeaWorld before we went to see Florida’s native, the Manatee. Great questions were asked about their diets, the dangerous ways of humans and their effects on the Manatees, along with the rescues SeaWorld has performed over the years. Education is the wildlife’s best defense.
We ended the day with some great door prizes, courtesy of Cindy Kelly of Education at SeaWorld and some more information. Cindy’s going to email me the dates, but Busch Gardens is going to be holding an Education Open House in December – right before our final Amusing Times Field Trip of the Year at the park.
Chris, Claire, Joanne and myself got soaked on the Atlantis after learning more about Cosmeo’s Learning Adds UP program. I have the picture, but I promised them I would not put it on the blog. Can’t anyway since it’s copyrighted from SeaWorld.