(ABC4 NEWS – Layton, Utah) Norman the Tortoise lumbers through the hallways, the birds squawk, the stingrays splash. Quite the experience. The magic of television can take you there.
As I prepared for this installment of Utah Success Stories, I asked the folks at Seaquest Interactive Aquarium to let us join a school field group.
I was pleasantly surprised to meet a class from the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. The story concept changed as I went into Grandpa mode and knelt down to talk to the curious kids that just happened to be visually impaired.
Little 5-year-old Riley commented “I’m having a field trip, and it’s pretty fun!”
As I asked the group for their feedback it was interesting to hear them say
“I see the birds…” another says “I see a chicken and a snake…”
It was obvious that this field trip was leaving an impression of enthusiasm as well as learning. A 10-year-old boy exclaims; “I touched a shark.” Another student pipes in and tells me; “I did feel stingrays and the starfish.”
Riley continues our conversation; “I talked to the turtle too, and the turtle felt like hard with a shell, and the starfish slipped off my finger!”
Rather than focusing on a sense they may not have as strong as others, these children are experiencing the sounds, smells and shapes of various animals.
One of the docents for introduces the students to a patient iguana; “it feels a little different from the snake, huh?!
Stephanie Petersen, a teacher for this class from the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind explains what the experiences mean for the kids; “I have one student who I always teach him a star has five points, and so as he touched the star fish, we were able to feel the five points.”
Seaquest Interactive Aquarium is located inside the Layton Hills Mall. People of all ages and abilities can explore exhibits from around the world. Layton Mayor, Bob Stevenson, joined us; “It’s very important as the business climate changes to have these types of things to create that entertainment, educational part in the mall areas and the shopping.”
Imagine 5 continents, over 300 species and more than 1200 animals. All, up close and personal, and you get the idea of Seaquest Interactive Aquarium.
With another Utah Success Story, I’m Doug Jessop.
This story contains sponsored content.