Kemah Boardwalk Aquarium Charts New Territory in Education
Along with family entertainment and fine dining, Kemah Aquarium offers a variety of innovative, educational programs to teach visitors about aquatic life and conservation. The highly trained education staff offers guided tours through the Aquarium Exhibit, classroom programs, sleepovers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs and summer camps.
“We believe that the Aquarium should be about more than just tanks with fish,” said Joshua Hairgrove, Kemah Aquarium’s General Manager. “This is a place where children can learn while being immersed in an underwater setting with strong messages about conservation and awareness.”
As part of its educational programs, Kemah Aquarium has tailored its curriculum to cater to the needs of schools and teachers. At the beginning of the school year Kemah Aquarium offers free open houses to introduce its educational resources to local teachers. Aquarium also provides lesson plans and worksheets to help teachers prepare their students before their educational tour. This year, the Kemah Aquarium’s education staff introduces its new Middle School Math and Science workbook that allows teachers to review the material with their students in advance to prepare before their tour. Teachers can print this free workbook by visiting Kemah Boardwalk’s Fun Page (www.kemahboardwalk.com/field-trip-fun.asp).
During field trips, school groups can participate in one of many new classroom programs, that include 30-minute, classroom-style lessons taught by the education staff. Lessons are taught based on the grade level of the group, and topics focus on endangered species, aquatic animal adaptations, food webs and biodiversity, aquatic habitats and locomotion. All school programs and educational materials are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills that are currently used in classrooms around the state
One of the newest programs offered at Kemah Aquarium is The Sea Safari Camp that breaks away from the underwater adventure and allows groups to explore amazing animals and habitats from across the globe while participating in fun games and activities. Another unique program to the Kemah Aquarium is the Culinary Education Program offering up-and-coming student chefs a chance to visit the restaurant’s kitchen and learn day-to-day operations of a professional chef. Other great programs offered at The Kemah Aquarium include the Marine Biologist for a Day where kids can get behind the scenes with all the scientific action as well as the Stingray Overnight Sleepovers that let kits stay up late and sleep amongst the stingrays, fish, sharks and more.
Tours of the facility feature more than 400 species of fish in 500,000-gallon tanks. Scout troops can also schedule an Adventure in Scouting tour at Kemah Aquarium where boys and girls can earn merit badges.
“We want to promote hands-on, minds-on learning,” said Aimy Thorsen, educational coordinator at the Kemah Aquarium. “Our programs support and expand on classroom curriculum and hopefully encourage students to study science.”
Kemah Aquarium’s staff is committed to environmental conservation and educating visitors on the importance of being respectful of the world around us. Kemah Aquarium’s mission is to partner with and support the goals of local wildlife agencies, cutting-edge programs and other like-minded organizations that are focused on saving and protecting the planet’s wildlife. Kemah Aquarium is located at the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas. For reservations or more information, call Aquarium Restaurant at 281-334-9010 or visit www.kemahaquarium.com.