Twenty-two GEAR UP juniors and seniors from Indianola High School recently traveled to Jenks, OK, to tour the Oklahoma Aquarium. When the students arrived at the center, students were greeted by the Oklahoma Aquarium tour guide. GEAR UP students received a behind-the-scenes experiences.
The tour started at the Sea Turtle Island exhibit, where they met Seamore, the sea turtle. This area contained many different species of animals, which our guide explained shared this ecosystem and were not threatened or eaten by more significant sea life.
Next was the Caribbean Sea Life exhibit, which was very colorful and contained many different species coexisting and thriving. Students then toured the feeding room where the food was prepared for sharks and many sea life at the Aquarium. The guide then took the students to view the top of the shark pool. Students experience the darkness and blue light effect that the sharks thrive in.
After the guided tour, students were encouraged to explore all the different areas where sea life could be seen and touched. Many students took advantage of a feeding station for stingrays and enjoyed that experience. Others could touch starfish, moon jellyfish, and other animals in the touch pools.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017 and will serve more than 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.