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Oregon Coast Aquarium
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Oregon Coast Aquarium marine education specialist livens school assembly!

At the Oregon Coast Aquarium, education is everywhere. A commitment to serving learners of all ages and learning styles means that the Aquarium's lessons are expressed visually, orally, interpersonally and through touch. Programs serve both school groups and the general public. Vital to all of these programs is the Oregon Coast Aquarium's volunteer corps. *** An Educational feast: Oregon Coast Aquarium exhibits emphasize variety, to serve different learning styles. Therefore, exhibits include a touch pool, driveable videocamera, magnifying microscope, staffed demonstrations and presentations, specially produced and open-captioned videos, interpretive signs, tactile and Braille interpretations, caves for exploration, and volunteers who are available to answer questions and teach impromptu lessons. *** School programs: About 40,000 children attend Aquarium education programs each school year. On-staff marine educators develop curriculum for preschool through 12th grade, including previsit and postvisit activities, and conduct on-site laboratory and theater programs. Thirty-one programs are currently available to choose from, and new ones are developed and introduced each year. Materials are also available for self-guided tours at all grade levels. All programs address selected Oregon Common Curriculum Goals standards and benchmarks. *** Outreach school programs: The Aquarium has eight outreach programs that deliver marine science educational opportunities to schools in Oregon and southwest Washington. For 15 weeks during the school year, Aquarium education specialists deliver marine science education programs to students and conduct workshops for teachers. Eight different auditorium programs are available, focusing on whales, sharks, seals and sea lions, and intertidal invertebrates. The programs are designed for two age groups: preschool–grade 2 and grades 3–5. These programs use costumes, puppets, realistic life-size inflatables, slides and a variety of specimens to make learning fun. It is estimated that the outreach program directly benefits 9,000 students. Additional educational activities and downloadable lessons can be found on the Aquarium’s Web site at *** Summer camps: The Aquarium offers summer day camps for children: "Oceans of Fun" for four- and five-year-olds, "Sea Safari" for six- and seven-year-olds, "Aquarium Adventures" for 8- to 12-year-olds and an "Aquatic Careers" camp for 13- to 17-year-olds. Camps are developed and run by Aquarium educators. The Aquarium also offers two summer institutes for teachers: Teaching Educators About Marine Science (or TEAMS). TEAMS: Marine Ecosystems is offered to K-5 teachers and covers five aquatic habitats in fide days. Each year a TEAMS II is offered for K-8 teachers with the topic varying from year to year. *** Volunteer programs: Nearly 350 volunteers act as exhibit interpreters and visitor greeters, help with animal care and facility maintenance, and provide administrative support. Adult volunteers are over 18, and are given 30 hours of formal training in natural history, marine biology and teaching techniques. Volunteers who participate in the formal volunteer training class can receive college credit through the Oregon Coast Community College. New volunteers serve in a mentor program with experienced volunteers. Monthly orientation sessions are offered between spring and fall training. The Aquarium provides a year-round youth volunteer program. Youth volunteers work with education and animal husbandry staffs to learn about the natural history of marine animals and how they are cared for at the Aquarium, then share their knowledge with the Aquarium’s visitors. In cooperation with Oregon dive shop owners and highly qualified dive instructors, the Aquarium has developed a “Habitat Diver” certification program. Participants become volunteer divers, helping with many underwater duties at the Aquarium, including exhibit cleaning and maintenance, animal feeding and food preparation. *** Other public programs: Community events and programs are regularly held for both Oregon Coast Aquarium members and the general public, including lectures, workshops, field trips, scheduled animal feedings, daily “Keeper Talks,” behind-the-scenes tours and family programs. All events are open to the public. *** Facility rental: The Oregon Coast Aquarium is available for after-hours special events, parties, receptions and meetings. For information, call 1-541-867-3474, extension 5221. *** Other opportunities: Group rates are available. Call 1-541-867-3474, extension 5301 for additional information.

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