More than 200 fourth graders from Binks Forest Elementary School spent a morning immersed in scientific inquiry as they toured the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. The unique program is made possible through a Jacobs Family Foundation grant. Several Wellington area elementary and middle schools were able to participate in this program during the 2016-17 school year.
The students’ visit was part of the Science Center’s S.T.E.M. Passport Program, which combines classroom instruction with a visit to the center’s exhibits and activities. The program features technology, engineering and math-based activities and experiments that employ deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills.
The students tested their knowledge of the properties of matter as they watched a demonstration called Nitromania, and got a first-hand feel of a chilling nitrogen cloud. In addition to the demonstration, the students toured the Science Center and Aquarium exhibits.
“For many schools, field trips are virtually impossible to arrange due to transportation and other costs. Science Passport eliminates barriers by absorbing all expenses and making the field trip as effortless and effective as possible,” said Kate Arrizza, Chief Operating Officer of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. “We were very excited to receive this grant from the Jacobs Family Foundation that expanded our ability to present the program to Wellington-area students. This fulfilled a wish from Wellington teachers who had been asking us to bring the program to their schools.”
The mission of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is to open every mind to science, and the indoor/outdoor venue features more than 100 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000 gallon fresh and saltwater aquarium featuring both local and exotic marine life, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall, Pre-K focused “Discovery Center,” and an interactive Everglades exhibit. Its newest feature is an 18-hole Conservation Course – an outdoor putting course with science-focused education stations.