Oregon Coast Aquarium educators will enjoy a new set of wheels as they deliver marine science education programs to elementary schools across the Northwest this year thanks to a sponsorship from the Oregon and Vancouver, Washington Burger King® owners. Their support, coupled with contributions from Aquarium donors, enabled the Aquarium to purchase a new Aqauri-van to transport these programs. “Burger King® is proud to help bring this unique learning experience to elementary school children as part of our local community involvement and support,” said Luis Boyance, Burger King® Franchisee.
The Aquarium’s outreach programs reach over 30,000 students and an excess of 100 schools in Oregon, Washington and California each academic school year. The assembly-style presentations make marine science accessible to kids who may not have an opportunity to explore Oregon’s Coast with their families or on a field trip. The Aquarium offers four different outreach programs that focus on marine animal adaptations and are tailored to K-2 and 3-5 grades. The topics rotate so students see something different every year during the Aquarium’s annual visit.
These interactive presentations include life-sized inflatable animals, recorded animal sounds or videos and an opportunity to touch real biofacts like whale baleen to help students dive into the world of Oregon’s marine life. These education tools are indispensable, but bulky, and all that cargo requires quite a bit of space, which is where the Aquari-van comes in.
“We are so grateful of the support we received from local Burger King owners and Aquarium members to help continue these trips,” said Jenni Remillard, an Education Specialist for the Aquarium. “Our team will spend 20 weeks on the road this academic school year so it is great to have a reliable vehicle that drives well and functions as a cargo van for all of our equipment. Plus, it looks great,” Remillard said.
The Aquari-van is hard to miss; it sports a wrap featuring illustrated seals, sea otters, rockfish, puffins and a giant Pacific octopus created by the Aquarium’s resident artist Michael Cole. For more information about the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s education programs, call 541-867-3474 or visit aquarium.org/education.
Information and photos provided by the Oregon Coast Aquarium