February 25, 2013
The Aquarium of the Pacific has won a 2013 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for its interactive videoconferencing program. Videoconferencing allows the Aquarium to deliver its education programs to classrooms around the world. “This expanded reach, spreading the Aquarium’s messaging beyond its walls, is a key example of how the institution fulfills its vision, connecting people in a shared mission of protecting natural capital,” says David Bader, Aquarium of the Pacific director of education.
The Superintendent’s Awards for Excellence in Museum Education competition is a joint project between the California Association of Museums (CAM) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. CAM received twenty entries representing a diverse range of institutions and the contributions museums make to California’s K-12 educational system. After a formal evaluation and scoring by three reviewers, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson chose six recipients, including the Aquarium of the Pacific. The awards will be presented in February at the 2013 CAM conference.
In fifty-minute videoconferencing sessions available for students of all ages from kindergarten through twelfth grade, an Aquarium educator teaches interactive marine science lessons remotely in a screen-to-screen format similar to online video chat. Students are expected to participate, asking and answering questions, and even conducting dissections.
The Aquarium debuted the Roddenberry Foundation Education Videoconferencing Studio in 2011, with founding support from the Roddenberry Foundation. Groups can schedule a videoconference with an Aquarium educator by calling (562) 951-1630.