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Hemby Bridge Elementary AIG students have aquatic adventure

AIG students pose in front of WonderWorks in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Many young people are fascinated with sea life, especially sharks. But not many have the opportunity to spend the night with them.

Forty-nine Hemby Bridge Elementary students from Betsy Ziskind’s AIG classes did just that. After finishing their lunch last week, students and chaperones set off for Myrtle Beach and Ripley’s Aquarium.

“This was the best kind of field trip,” said fifth-grade student Olivia Jordan. “We got to have fun while learning at WonderWorks and then continued to learn while having a unique experience at the Aquarium.”

Before visiting the Aquarium, the group explored WonderWorks, a multi-level attraction full of fascinating hands-on learning activities and even an indoor ropes course.

Most of the students and a few of the chaperones donned harnesses and safety gear and braved the neon-lit course on the top floor of the building.

After arriving safely back on solid ground, the group had dinner and descended upon Ripley’s Aquarium.

The attraction was closed to the public and the classes had the wonders of the Aquarium to themselves.

Students had the advantage of front row access to all of the exhibits and Aquarium staff and were able to get up close and personal with stingrays, horseshoe crabs and even sharks in the touch tanks.

There was even more excitement when the students learned that a stingray pup was born while the group was there.

Students also had the opportunity to paint shirts to commemorate the experience and participate in a shark presentation.

Finally, after a late-night snack, students and chaperones laid out their sleeping bags in the 330-foot long shark tunnel.

They stared upward as the artificial sun set and the light in the tank was reduced to a calming glow, enough for sharks, turtles, eels and children to drift off to sleep.

Written by: : Betsy Ziskind, AIG Teacher
Posted: Feb 19, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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