NOAA Sea Turtle Laboratory – August 4, 2016

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Today, our group took a trip to Galveston to visit the NOAA Fisheries Sea Turtle Lab. If you’ve never been before, this is a really cool place to visit!

NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service, is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, NOAA Fisheries works to recover protected marine species while allowing economic and recreational opportunities. Their sea turtle lab is part of a conservation/research and development project to create turtle-safe fishing nets. The facility in Galveston hosts a class to help educate the public about sea turtles, and offers a tour of the lab where the turtles are housed for two years as they grow, to be released back in the location they were taken from.

 

 

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TH STEM-Egg Drop Contest – April 27, 2016

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Today, we hosted an ‘egg drop’ contest! Everyone brought all kinds of things from home to build a capsule capable of protecting an egg from a 10′ drop. We had so many neat ideas! From a cradle of straws, to a fully-insulated cup; foam, paper, fabric and everything in between. If you’re looking for a neat science-focused activity, this one was a winner!

Downtown Aquarium Homeschool Day 2015

10945372_10205602152194042_6555199196793916447_nThis is the first year that we’ve heard about Downtown Aquarium Houston’s Homeschool Day. We managed to get our group in about a week before the deadline for registration, and I am SO GLAD that we did! Despite a few snags, it was an amazing experience and definitely one we recommend and are looking forward to next year.

If you know anything about our group, you know that we love options, and in this, the Downtown Aquarium didn’t disappoint. Options included your choice of age groups, classes, tours, particpation, food options, and plenty of rides and carnival games. The education aspects were awesome, the staff was friendly and helpful – and most importantly, excited about their jobs and working with our kids.

Our only complaint had to do with organization – things were a bit disorganized, but according to the hostess, they had more that twice the number of participants this year than they’ve had in previous years, so a little bit of leeway can be allowed. I am so glad that this was a successful event for them – the better their turnout, the better future events will be!

Most of the Triangle Homeschoolers families chose the ‘all day’ option – 2 classes, ‘behind the scenes’ tours, full access to the exhibits and rides, a Q&A with a marine biologist, and a picnic lunch included.

Here’s a sampling of the day’s activities:


If you have a chance, please visit – it’s a full day’s worth of activities, education and entertainment. If you’d like to join TH for events like this one, join the discussion on Facebook!

TH

Sea Center – Lake Jackson, TX – January 2014

Today, we took the kids out to Sea Center in Lake Jackson to visit the hatchery. What we thought was going to be a ‘tour’ was actually a full behind the scenes look at just how intricate and scientific growing a million fish really is!

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When you walk in, one of the first things to see is a giant ‘touch tank’. Filled with crabs of all kinds (hermit, blue, spider and more), sea anemones, urchins and other things to feel and explore, the touch tank dominated the kids’ attention for a good long while. There’s also a table with plates to make crayon rubbings of different sea creatures, and several big aquariums to check out.

CAM01433To keep the kids interested, we split into two groups with a guide for each group – Mr. Andy for the littles, and Mr. Jerry for the bigs. We took a walk outside to check out the water systems, from the created wetlands, to the big holding pond, outdoor filters and tanks, to the indoor pump and filtering system inside. Then we went through the big tank room where there were giant tubs filled with red drum and flounder. Then we toured CAM01436the incubation room, where we learned about eggs and how the ‘fry’ look when they’ve hatched, and what they eat for the few days before they’re gathered up and brought to the grow ponds outside. We also got a run-down of what types of education the kids might need to pursue if they wanted to have a career with one of the three hatcheries in Texas.

 

 

 

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We also got to hang out on the pier of the learning pond and feed the fish – and saw a variety of giants in the water, then took a stroll down the boardwalk over the wetlands that were built to replace some that were destroyed when the hatchery opened.

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If you get a chance, call them to schedule a tour. It’s well worth the drive!
TH