Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tennessee American Water Day at the Tennessee Aquarium

 Students from Battle Academy had a great time learning about water quality at the Aquarium today. Tennessee American Water hosted 125 students to help celebrate 125 years of service in Chattanooga.
 Bill Haley, the Aquarium's education outreach coordinator, led the group on a fun-filled tour of a mountain stream. This "Build Your Own River" program gives kids a chance to learn how habitat changes as water flows downstream. The kids are transformed during this engaging lesson, becoming aquatic creatures and features. From the flowing water itself to boulders, mayflies, darters and trout, the kids gain a better understanding of stream structure, habitat and the lifestyles of various animals.
This presentation is amazingly fun for both the onstage participants and the student audience. How many times do you see a room full of arms go up when a question goes out? "What mixes in with the water when it tumbles over a series of big rocks?" asks Haley. Frantic arms wave as the majority of the students try to answer, "Oxygen."
After the auditorium program, the fifth graders toured both Aquarium buildings. George Bartnik, education programs manager urged them to slow down and look closely at each exhibit. After "being" aquatic creatures on stage, they might discover interesting behaviors and smaller creatures in every display.

Haley is the Aquarium's road warrior, delivering outreach programs to schools and public venues within 125 miles of downtown Chattanooga. He has reached more than 366,000 people since he first hit the road for the Aquarium's education department in 1994. Thanks to support from Tennessee American Water, the official sponsor of the Aquarium's education outreach program, he'll continue making a difference in our region.

Each day all of the educators make learning fun. Learn more about the Tennessee Aquarium's education programs.  If you know a teacher, let them know about the Aquarium's FREE education e-newsletter.

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