By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: March 2012
Joel Pritchard, life support systems supervisor; Ann Money, curator of education programs and research; and Phil Tate, exhibits supervisor, work on Extreme Amazon, Oklahoma Aquarium’s newest exhibit that is scheduled to open in early summer.
Kids can discover the dangers and excitement of the Amazon River in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere during the Oklahoma Aquarium’s Splash Break, March 19-23. The five-day interactive program called Extreme Amazon is presented in preparation for the aquarium’s newest exhibit of the same name that is scheduled to open in early summer.
Splash Break participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Amazon rainforest, creepy crawlies, spooky animals, colorful birds and lots more. Ann Money, curator of education programs and research, along with her four-member education staff, will offer a different presentation with a make-and-take project each day:
Monday, March 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wet and Wild Amazon
Explore the rainforest. Learn about water’s journey through the jungle. Make a rainstick.
Tuesday, March 20, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Creepy Crawlies of the Amazon
See some of the 30 million species of insects in the rainforest. Make a bug collecting jar.
Wednesday, March 21, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Amazon after Dark
Meet the nocturnal animals of the jungle. Make a glow-in-the-dark Amazon critter.
Thursday, March 22, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Learn about the habitat of the Amazon as it provides clean air, countless medicines, foods and goods. Make an Amazon eco-zone to grow at home.
Friday, March 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Splash of Color
Discover the colors of the Amazon, as found on the poison dart frog, parrots and birds of paradise. Design a colorful (and safe) frog.
The Splash Break presentations in the Great Hall are no extra charge, with the price of admission. “The aquarium is a fun place for kids to go and to learn something,” says Ann, referring to the eight galleries that include fascinating facts with each exhibit.
Ann keeps close watch on the work for the new Extreme Amazon exhibit. Among the many unbelievable tasks involved in construction, workers must build the walls of the tank with giant pieces of acrylic – each weighing 2,500 pounds – that are precisely put in place. Friends and fans can watch the progress as it is posted on the aquarium’s Facebook page.
Almost all the design and building at Oklahoma Aquarium are done in-house so they can stay on budget and on time. After Extreme Amazon, the next exhibit will be Sea Turtles. Plans are still under way, with no scheduled opening date.
The Oklahoma Aquarium welcomes nearly a half million visitors each year. It is open year round, except Christmas Day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Tuesdays until 9 p.m. Ticket prices for general admission (excluding tax) are $13.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors and military, and $9.95 for children ages three to 12. Children two and under are admitted free. For more information on Splash Break, go to www.okaquarium.org or call (918) 296-FISH (3474).
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.