Awesome Enrichment Workshop

The TIC Enrichment Workshop at the Aquarium of the Bay was an awesome experience for everyone.  We had an exciting opportunity to share creative classroom activities, see the incredibly beautiful new posters about trout life cycle, watersheds, food chains, and anatomy, and tour the fantastic aquarium.

What captures the value of the day the best is that several teachers complained that the 4.5 hour workshop was too short.  Teachers shared a variety of creative student journals and great writing assignments with each other. One assignment was to write a letter to humans from the point of view of a trout.  Here is an example: “Dear Humans,  Please do not pollute the lake because trout can mistake wrappers for food and choke.  The oil from cars can poison us.  You should care more about the ecosystem because if your water is poisoned, you can no longer drink it and your fish will be very dirty.”

We also did three new Project Wild Aquatic activities, Migration Headache, Aquatic Times, and Design a Habitat. These varied from physical education to language arts to trout habitat-related creative art. Check them out in your Activity Guide.

We had 45 minutes to tour the aquarium, which included a walk-through underwater glass tunnel that allows you to watch fish (mainly sharks) swim overhead and to each side. There are beautiful jellyfish and octopus exhibits too, as well as a ray and sea star petting pond.

The aquarium also has a creative variety of free class programs available, which include a guided walk-through as well as time in their classroom doing hands-on activities related to life in the bay.  You can also reserve a time for a self-guided tour, which gives you the opportunity to focus on the concepts most relevant to your grade level and base the tour on the attention span of your students. Click here to learn more about the aquarium education department’s age-appropriate, curriculum-based program options: http://www.aquariumofthebay.com/teachers/bay-area-k12-programs

The aquarium can be reached easily by BARTing to the Embarcadero Station and hopping the F bus on Market up the Embarcadero to Pier 39.  Local parking fees, as we discovered at the workshop, help encourage you to take public transportation. (Sorry about that.)

Keep your eyes open for the next enrichment workshop.  Let us know what you would most like to do at it. We aim to please and want to help make TIC a creative and rewarding experience for you and your students.  Also let us know where you would most like to meet. Should it be at the new Big Break Interpretive Center in the Delta, the Tilden Nature Area, Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, the Presidio Native Plant Nursery, Berkeley’s Shorebird Nature Center, or ????  As long as we have a comfortable indoor space to meet and an engaging outdoor space to explore, any site that can accommodate 20-30 people will work. We could even do a more general workshop for your school faculty on increasing science literacy, as enticement for other teachers to participate in TIC.  It could take place at your school for ease of delivery.  Ask and you shall receive.

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