My Service Project at the Whale Museum!

On Thrusday May 7, 2009 I helped out Cindy Hansen, the education curator, at the Whale Museum.  She had a group of 2nd and 3rd grade students come for a killer whale and gray whale workshop!  During the Killer Whale presentation she talked about the biology of a whale, the different types of whales, acoustics, and a id exercise.  I got to talk about my project, the purpose of Beam Reach, and my encounters out at sea.

It was amazing to realize how much these kids know!  They are extremely smart!  I was explaining the behaviors of the transient killer whales the couple of times we saw them the first week.  Then one of the kids raised his hand and said “You don’t need to explain what spy hopping and breaching is, we already know what it is.”  I was like okay, that is really cool!  Then the kids did an exercise trying to identify the Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW)!  It was amazing to see how observant and fast these kids pick up on things.  I was really impressed!  They seem to be very interested in the subject, as well as, my project.  

Once the discussion was over they did another exercise were they each got a blue card and a sheet with the different SRKWs.  On the cards, they had to write which whale they got and why their whale is special. It was so cute!  I enjoyed what each kid had to say. Then they had to split up into pods and find out who their family was.  It was a great thing to see.  Along the way, many of the kids and parents asked me many different questions.  It seemed like the parents asked more weird questions than the kids, I thought it was funny! 

After that they went upstairs and had a tour of the museum.  The hit with this group of kids was the read phone booth where you can call whales and listen to their different calls.  Once they got to the hydrophone area, i got to speak all about hydrophones, like what they do, how we use them, and where they are located.  I was once again amazed on how much they know and remember.  These kids even know the whale wise rules!  They were great!  While the kids were looking around at the exhibits and taking pictures a lot of the parents came up to me and asked me about college and my studies here at Beam Reach.

Once they were done with the tours, they took a lunch break. After lunch they had a presentation on Gray Whales. Then it was time to put Stinky Bill together.  The kids loved the fact that they were real whale bones.  The kids got split up into four groups and I was in charge of helping the kids find the matching ribs.  My secret to knowing that they were matching was it was labeled! I found it funny that the parents call me the expert.  Then the kids caught on to what i was doing and did the same.  They built this whale with lots of team work.  Why can’t the world work like these kids, with lots of team work? Remember we are all in this together!  

After they were done they talked about how the gray whale could have died and took votes on it.  My favorite one was the killer whales rammed the gray whale until its ribs were broken. I was thinking, that kid is totally cool! That is what i wanted the answer to be, but it was hit by a boat.  

After the program was done the kids did some smart shopping at the gift shop and i helped Cindy pack up Stinky Bill, put away chairs, and clean the floors. I had such a great time and i wish i could do it again!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.