Members from all four Clubhouses at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County are getting hand-on lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). About 40 kids visited the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago during a spring break trip.
“We want them to get a little more information about ocean life. It’s cool they can learn about different species they’ve never heard of. Just seeing the reactions and interactions has been so cool,” said Elkhart Program Manager Kyla Kirkendoll.
Part of Boys & Girls Clubs after-school programming involves exposing members to activity-based STEM curriculum, which connects them to science themes they encounter regularly.
“In our endangered species module they learned about some of these things at the aquarium. It’s great they get to see them in person. They’re also learning about other species that are out there,” said Middlebury Education Supervisor Emily Keyser.
The kids all had different exhibits that excited them.
“The shark movie was cool. I loved all of it,” said Riley from the Middlebury Club.
“Definitely the dolphins, but I liked feeling the star fish. It felt cool and fuzzy,” said Lilly from the Middlebury Club.
Others moved toward the creatures that were a little more fierce looking.
“I loved seeing the reptile section — lizards and geckos and frogs,” said Zion from the Elkhart Club.
“The sharks were my favorite. I also liked the beluga whales. They’re very cool,” said Christian from the Goshen Club.
Kole from the Nappanee Club said he learned a lot about the different species.
“The great white shark is the strongest shark. That surprised me. I didn’t know that one shark could come out of nowhere and get its food,” he said.
“I’m learning that fish can change colors to hide, and I’m learning about some new kinds of sharks. It’s cool to see what fish are in different parts of the oceans,” said Bryson from the Nappanee Club.