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See ya on the Net,
Ladies and gentlemen, tighten your virtual seat belts, start your computers and rev up your mice. For this whirlwind aquarium tour, we will start with two stops in California, then on to New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. Sorry, no frequent flyer miles will be awarded on this cyber-tour.
Birch Aquarium Learning Center
The Scripp’s Birch Aquarium Learning Center is a collection of two Web cams (KelpCam and PierCam), animal facts (including an extensive sea horse feature), and my two favorite clicks: Science Spotlights and Online Interactives (a fancy made-up phrase for educational games.) Science Spotlights, for middle school and above, tackles important conservation issues. Don’t miss Shifting Baselines, a striking exhibit that illustrates the differences between today’s ocean and that of forty years ago.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Highlights of the Monterey Bay e-Quarium are the five live Web cams, the Splash Zone (for elementary-age kids), the feature on jelly fish, and the Habitats Path cybertour. First stop on the Habitats Path is the live Kelp Cam, which captures the changing sunlight streaming through the swaying kelp (7 AM to 7 PM, PST.) From here, you can jump to the online games, which include Kelp Habitat Tic-Tac-Toe and Habitat Coloring Pages. For information on a specific animal, try the Online Field Guide (listed under Aquarium Exhibits.)
New York Aquarium: Alien Stingers
“Stingers – known to scientists as Cnidarians (pronounced ‘Ni-dare-ee-ans’) – are an ancient and primitive form of life. Stingers include jellies, corals, and anemones. They are the simplest multi-celled animals that have muscles and nerves for movement.” This amazing exhibit is beautiful, educational and entertaining. Each chapter includes interactive illustrations or movies; and three interactive quiz games complete the experience.
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