Ahh! So much to do, so little time! I really got a good sense of the New England Aquarium today while working with the Visitor Education Department. My host for the day, Dave, introduced me to a ton of the volunteers and interns, gave me a schedule that had me moving around about every 30mins with at least one other intern/volunteer, and let me go! It was SO much fun! I got to be an educator at the Edge of the Sea Exhibit where visitors can pet and hold a variety of critters including starfish, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and horseshoe crabs.
I really enjoyed answering questions and seeing people’s faces light-up when they held or touched one of the animals, and I felt like my shift there was over before it even started! Every half hour or so after that I moved on to a different part of the aquarium and helped educate visitors. I walked around a few times during the day with a bio fact, which is some kind of marine related object. When it’s your turn do bio facts you get to go to this huge cabinet that has all these different marine bones and artifacts in it, pick one, read it’s bio fact card, then go somewhere in the aquarium with it and walk around showing it to people and answering questions. It’s also a good way for us to learn more at the same time. I picked a sand tiger shark jaw, and my partner picked a nurse shark jaw, which are the two types of sharks that are currently in the Giant Ocean Tank, so we got a lot of questions. It was so neat to see how big the eyes of the little kids would get when they saw us walking around with these shark jaws. The other three places that I got to divide my time between where the penguins, Giant Ocean Tank, and Shark and Ray Touch Tank.
At each place we would stand or walk around the exhibit offering to answer questions, and then fielding as many as we could. These were probably my favorite three places to be assigned to, because I learned a ton from the people asking the questions. I was able to answer many of their questions thanks to everything that Paul Leonard taught me, and all that I have learned myself from school and many of my past hosts from this summer. It felt so good to be able to share all of my knowledge! It was a crazy day, but I had a lot of fun, and learned as much as I told! 🙂