Featuring Texas State Aquarium

Second breakout session at TxDLA. About 40 people in this session. Wish I could also be in Angela Conrad’s Texas History Mystery session, but I wanted to learn something completely new. So here I am in a session featuring the Texas State Aquarium, which is just a few blocks from the conference center. I think every conference like this (i.e. NECC etc) ought to feature the content providers that are close by, so it’s great to see this one featured. It’s also nice to see a new provider (new to me at least)!

Texas State Aquarium programs include teacher packets and cover all grade levels and topics such as Coral Reef Under Construction, Surviving Earth’s Ecosystems, Marine Careers, Oceanography, and Alternative Energy Sources. The sessions are 50 minutes, and they use 8 real time cameras!

Adrianna, one of the VC presenters came on site to talk to us. She gave us a nice overview of their programs. One of their cameras is in the water by their coral reef exhibit. In the coral reef program the students make a coral reef out of Legos! How cool is that! In the water program, they have a kinesthetic activity where all the students act out the structure of ice, water, and gas. Their programs include video clips from the scientists onsite. The example was of one of the vets checking out a bird to see if it is healthy. The turtle program has a little puppet show. The dolphin program has nice clips of each of their dolphins and the tricks they can do. Video clips are sprinkled throughout their programs. Another program, Float Your Boat, is a design program where the students figure out how to float their boat with the cargo of marbles.

Their programs each have very specific grade levels, partly because they are targeting the Texas standards. But they are very willing to tailor the programs to another grade level or adjust as needed for teachers. They are willing to develop/tailor programs by request too.

Gulf packages are $150 for 1-40 students. In Ocean packages, they actually mail materials and those are $200 for 1-40 students.

I definitely want to try out their programs next school year. Nice variety of programming with a mix of great visuals, hands-on activities, and teacher packets. It’s also nice to have another source for these types of programs when Mote Marine fills up too fast!

Woohoo! Finally wireless Internet in a session.

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