Other than being one of the biggest aquariums in the world, S.E.A. Aquarium is also one of the best places to learn about marine life and take your first step in marine conservation. Sharley Goi from our Education Team tells us why.
In 2016, Ballantyne & Packer conducted a survey with 1,546 guests of 13 different zoos and aquariums to learn about their perception of these facilities. Their findings showed that although visitors rated entertainment as the most important aspect of their visit, they also considered the provision of conservation education to be an important factor.
Indeed, many accredited zoos and aquariums strive to provide their guests with an educational experience, and S.E.A. Aquarium is no different. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, S.E.A. Aquarium places a heavy emphasis on educating the public on marine life and conservation issues.
Here are 4 reasons why S.E.A. Aquarium is one of the best places for marine education and conservation.
1. Develop an appreciation for the marine world
As renowned environmentalist Baba Dioum once said, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”
Visiting the S.E.A. Aquarium brings you face-to-face with over 1000 species of marine animals from all over the world, and boosts your knowledge of a diverse range of marine life.
Of course you can do the same through nature documentaries or nature trips. However, a two-dimensional film representation of an animal can never have the same effect as seeing one in the flesh; and not everyone has the opportunity to jet off around the world to see these animals in their natural habitats.
2. Appeals to different learning styles
Some people are visual learners while others are auditory or tactile learners. Regardless of learning style, the aquarium has exhibits and activities that will appeal to everyone.
Visual learners can observe the animals directly or through the many videos playing around the aquarium.
Auditory learners can pick up animal fun facts through daily talks such as Marine Chatters and Dolphin Chit Chat.
Tactile learners can learn through a hands-on experience at the Discovery Touchpool or via interactive displays around the aquarium.
3. Educational activities and programmes
At S.E.A. Aquarium, edutaining activities are used to engage the general public. For example, during special events such as Gong SEA Fa Cai and World Oceans Day, activity booths are set up around the aquarium to teach guests about specific marine animals or conservation issues through games and demonstrations.
Apart from special events, S.E.A. Aquarium also offers highly informative VIP tours and the very unique educational sleepover programme Ocean Dreams.
School groups can also benefit from our wide range of educational programmes that caters to different learning needs, from pre-school to post-secondary. Some of these programmes, such as Wonders of the Sea, are aligned with the Ministry of Education’s Science syllabus.
4. Marine conservation group – Guardians of the S.E.A.A.
What better way to advocate marine conservation than to form a group of marine enthusiasts? Meet Guardians of the S.E.A.A. – S.E.A. Aquarium’s very own conservation group that brings together a community of like-minded people to share ideas and take action to protect the ocean.
Among the year-round activities the group organizes are family-friendly conservation nights. After operational hours, members gather at S.E.A. Aquarium to learn and discuss conservation topics such as plastic pollution and seafood sustainability.
Members also get to engage with professionals such as our aquarists and Dr Neil Hutchinson from James Cook University, allowing them to gain new perspectives on marine life and conservation.
Beach cleanups, mangrove cleaups and even reef cleanups are some of other activities where members get to play an active role in environmental conservation.
Click here for more information on our educational programmes for school groups.
Click here to find out more about Guardians of the S.E.A.A.