To kick off the 2015-16 school year, the Homeschool Explorers Club convened on September 16 to learn about Helping Habitats. The Aquarium’s team of education instructors assembled a full schedule of activities to keep students engaged both inside and outside the Aquarium.
The young learners visited four educational stations throughout the Aquarium, learning how to identify, explore, help and create habitats in the process. At the identification station, the students matched animals to the habitats they call home and talked about the variety of habitats that exist in South Carolina. While exploring habitats, the students practiced making animal tracks in different substrates and replicas of animal scat from Play-Doh to demonstrate the clues that animals leave behind. At the station dedicated to helping habitats, students used an Enviroscape model to show how pollution travels through habitats and affects the water and wildlife in them. Finally, the students wandered outside to learn about creating habitats in the Aquarium’s Backyard Habitat exhibit, where they matched animals to the shelters they call home and explored beautiful native plants. Some students even got the opportunity to release ladybugs in the Backyard Habitat!
In the classroom, students were busy meeting some native species up close and learning about their habitats in South Carolina. Each young person got the opportunity to touch am American alligator, a diamondback terrapin, an Eastern kingsnake and a horse conch and talk one-on-one with an Aquarium educator.
When they weren’t scampering from station to station, the Homeschool Explorers enjoyed an enhanced daily program schedule that included a dive show in the Great Ocean Tank and feedings in the Saltmarsh Aviary and Blackwater Swamp galleries. The students were enthralled as they watched pelicans catch fish in their large throat pouches, saw juvenile alligators chomping on fish snacks, and even witnessed Alabaster the albino alligator enjoying a fishy meal.
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