NECWA offered the children some fun things to do including demonstrations, and lessons based on the bones and teeth that were on display. Ann manned this activity and had little trouble keeping the imagination of the kids as she talked about the baleen, prey items and bones on display.
Also a great hit were Val’s fabulous origami whale animals. Becky helped out with this activity and it was great fun to see how creative kids can be when decorating their origami whales. To sneak some science into this activity, we talked about the pectoral fin and flukes as well as the blowhole and the spout (when we helped the kids add their fluff to the top of the head to simulate a whale spout).
Another fun activity was the blubber glove demonstration where kids put their hands in a cold bucket of ice water. First they dip a finger into the bucket to see who cold the ocean can be. Then they put their hand in a blubber glove (really just vegetable oils sandwiched between 2 plastic bags) and then dip into the cold water. This helps them understand how blubber helps to keep marine mammals like whales and seals toasty warm in a very cold and sometimes inhospitable environment.
The Nayatt School houses grades K through 3, and the children were interested and excited to learn more about marine mammals and other ocean species. It was very rewarding for the NECWA volunteers to meet so many kids with so much enthusiasm for Marine Biology! A fun time was had by one and all, especially by the NECWA staff!