ATLANTA (February 26, 2015) - Georgia Aquarium is an entertaining and inspiring experience for guests of all ages. The Aquarium strives to instill a new appreciation for the world’s aquatic biodiversity, while also promoting a fun and enjoyable learning experience. Georgia Aquarium contributes to education in a variety of ways, one of which is an emphasis on the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

STEM students, Chris Deguira and Olya Steng, from Cherokee Christian School in Woodstock, Ga., were recently a part of an 8-week pilot program in cooperation with Georgia Aquarium that gave students the chance to use skills from the STEM disciplines to solve real-world problems. Chris’ project involved building a prototype whale shark motion tracking device using open-source, Arduino-based software and hardware. Chris was mentored by Harry Webb, Georgia Aquarium research and conservation project coordinator. Olya’s project focused on understanding the nutritional requirements of moon jellies, which is largely unknown. During her time at the Aquarium, Olya was supervised by Dr. Lisa Hoopes, with the help of aquarist, Lee Camp, and associate curator, Kim Stone.

“Programs like this allow Georgia Aquarium to further our mission, while also assisting a new generation in gaining the practical skills needed for successful STEM careers,” said Mark Schafer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Georgia Aquarium. “STEM education programs are more important now than ever before, and Georgia Aquarium is dedicated to inspiring and educating guests through a variety of interactive experiences.”

Georgia Aquarium’s newest and most high-tech gallery, Aquanaut Adventure, features interactive, educational and entertaining opportunities for guests, school groups and families to play, learn and explore the aquatic world in order to become a certified Georgia Aquarium Aquanaut. Guests will engage in STEM-related activities to provide a glimpse of the scientific process. The goal of Aquanaut Adventure is to instill a sense of appreciation for the oceans, lakes and rivers of our planet, and an understanding of the organisms that thrive there. Aquanaut Adventure is reserved for education groups during weekday mornings and opens to the public in the afternoon and on weekends.

There are several opportunities for educators and students of all ages to experience everything that Georgia Aquarium has to offer. Camp H2O is an Atlanta day camp and an opportunity for first through fifth grade students to grow their imagination while exploring the world's most magical aquarium. Camp H2O takes place during spring, summer and winter breaks, and provides campers with a unique experience that involves animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, opportunities to meet the animal caregivers and much more. Georgia Aquarium also welcomes school groups of students pre-kindergarten through high school, homeschool groups and educator groups who are interested in learning more about the aquatic world. All education programs are aligned to Georgia Performance Standards.

Georgia Aquarium Total Tickets, which include Aquanaut Adventure, can be purchased online or by calling 404-581-4000. For more information about Camp H20 and education programs reservation, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org or call 404-581-4121. 

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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, contains more than 10 million gallons of water and the largest collection of aquatic animals. The mission of Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards; offering engaging and exciting guest experiences promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.