Children 6 to 12 years old can count teeth in a real shark jaw, discover how blubber insulates, stock a real salt-water aquarium and lots more in special programs during the upcoming school vacation week Feb. 18-22 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
The Maritime Aquarium’s “Winter Vacation Adventures” invite young students to explore our watery world each day of the school break. For ages 6 to 9, there’s a different topic each day. Sign up for one, some or all five. Ages 9 to 12 can take part in the five-day “Junior Marine Biologist” class. Program hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Taking into account parents’ busy schedules, the Aquarium is offering pre-care from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and post-care from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. as well.
For ages 6 to 9:
The daily schedule and topics are:
Monday, Feb. 18 – “Sharks & Fins” Find out what makes a shark different from a flounder on this very fishy day! Kids will visit the Shark & Ray Touch Pool, count teeth in real shark jaws, and learn about a shark’s unique senses. They’ll see how the Aquarium prepares food for its sharks and get a sneak peek behind the scenes to see how to care for our friends with fins!
Tuesday, Feb. 19 – “Deadly Creatures” Delve into the world of animals that have special defensive adaptations. Activities include meeting live venomous creatures in a special presentation by Animal Embassy of Stamford, and exploring how snakes, spiders, frogs and rays all have deadly ways of protecting themselves.
Wednesday, Feb. 20 – “Feature Creature” Go on scavenger hunt around the Aquarium to observe a variety of animals, such as frogs, turtles, crabs and seals. Learn about these critters in the classroom through hands-on activities, artifacts and experiments. Show off your knowledge of the day through a quiz style game.
Thursday, Feb. 23 – “Whale of A Day” It’s a special day devoted to Earth’s biggest animals. Activities include an IMAX movie, blubber and feeding experiments, assembling a life-size whale puzzle, touching real whale artifacts, crafts and more.
Friday, Feb. 24 – “Polar World” Explore frosty life at the top (and bottom) of the world! Activities include an IMAX movie, touching real polar bear fur, crafts, experiments with blubber and with ice, and more.
For ages 9 to 12:
“Junior Marine Biologist”
In this five-day program, students get involved in the inner workings of the Aquarium’s animal-husbandry staff, with the goal of setting up, stocking, feeding and maintaining an aquarium display of Long Island Sound marine life. They’ll use water-chemistry meters to monitor water quality, grow brine shrimp to feed their animals and participate in squid and fish dissections.
No matter the child’s age, cost of a “Winter Vacation Adventures” program is $98 per day or $435 for the full week. Maritime Aquarium members receive a 20 percent discount. Pre-care is $17 additional per day or $72 for the week. Post-care is $33 per day or $143 for the week. Children should bring a bag lunch, a snack and an appetite for adventure. Space is limited and advance registration is required. For more details or to download a registration form, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org. Or for reservations or more details, call (203) 852-0700 ext. 2206.