The Greater Cleveland Aquarium has launched its first wave of virtual programming for classroom, homeschool and family learners.
While the focus of each of the new online offerings vary — ranging from adaptations to habitats, ecosystems and conservation — the education department is making sure that every program is an interactive, place-based experience that brings STEM learning to life through the aquarium’s exhibits.
“We want to continue to foster that sense of wonder and curiosity that accompanies any aquarium visit,” explains Education Director Erin Carpenter. “All of our programs are live, so young learners can see a shark, stingray, skink or other animal in real-time and ask an educator their questions about its appearance or behavior in that moment.”
Online family programs are about 25 minutes long and are available throughout the week at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Ranging from $12-$25 per household, the number of total log-in slots available will be limited to ensure everyone attending the program has a chance to participate.
Virtual field trip topics include Aquatic Story Time (pre-k through first grade), Habitat Exploration (kindergarten through second grade), Aquatic Adaptations (third through fifth grade), Shark Conservation (sixth through eighth grade), Shark Exhibit Encounter (available for all grades), Stingray & Coastal Encounter (available for all grades), Animal Cameos (available for all grades) and Full Virtual Tours (available for all grades). Class learning experiences range from 20-60 minutes and are based on Ohio’s Learning Standards.
On-site family homeschool options — Diets and Food Chains; What is Conservation?; Coral Reefs; and Camouflage & Hiding (kindergarten through third grade), and Enrichment; Plastic Pollution; Squid Dissection; and Biomimicry (fourth through eighth grade) — include same-day aquarium admission.
Field trips, homeschool and family programs are posted through the end of 2020, but Carpenter anticipates the calendar will continue to evolve and grow in the months ahead.
“Virtual programming is new for many of us — schools, families and museums,” she says. “We’ll get feedback, discover what’s popular and learn how to shape and expand on these opportunities.”