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Students learn about life under the sea at Medicine Park Aquarium camp

MEDICINE PARK — The Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center camp program helps students continue learning — even during summer break.

Around 15 campers have spent their week at the aquarium — surrounded by fish and aquatic and terrestrial life of all sorts — learning about the natural world around them. Colleen Edwards, education director, said the intention of the camp is to teach children using means and facilities they can’t find anywhere else.

“We want to do stuff here that you can only do at an aquarium,” she said. “We use the aquarium here to give them a unique experience and to help them learn and better appreciate the environment.”

The students learn something new each day of the week-long camp. They spent their first day learning about nautical directions and how to orientate themselves using the sky and a compass. If they’re ever in the woods or in a strange place without landmarks, these skills will help them. They spent their second day learning about the birds and snakes of Southwest Oklahoma. Their third day was spent learning about bugs and insects that live around them.

“We want them to get outside, off the screens and to experience nature,” Edwards said.

This week’s camp has been booked up for some time. A second camp in July is almost completely booked with only two spots left. Edwards said many of those campers are returning children who have come in the past and enjoyed their experience. That also creates an opportunity for Edwards and her staff to conceive new lessons.

“It’s a fun challenge for us to find a new curriculum,” she said. “They have an opinion of what they liked in the past and what they would like to do and we take that into consideration.”

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