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Frink-Chambers GEAR UP 6th grade visits the Oklahoma Aquarium

3/8/2018

WILBURTON, OK (March 8, 2018) – Thirty-six Frink-Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP students recently visited the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Students were divided into two groups for the day. The first group started the day on the “Behind the Scenes” tour in the small animal holding facility led by Julia Gibson, Oklahoma Aquarium Education Specialist, while the other group toured the aquarium exhibits. After the first tour, the second group experienced the “Behind the Scenes” tour, while the first group toured the exhibits.

“The small animal holding facility is important for several reasons,” said Gibson. “The facilities equalize chemistries of water for animals transported in to the aquarium as well as medicate, feed, and even raise aquatic babies.”

The small animal holding facility is currently home to an alligator snapping turtle, young sharks, tree frogs, a bearded dragon, hermit crabs, numerous fish, various snakes, and a few other aquatic animals. These animals typically spend several months being raised in the facility before being placed into the aquarium exhibits. During the tours, the groups were able to pet animals in the facility. The first group had the opportunity to pet a ball python, and the second group had the opportunity to pet the bearded dragon.

“Obviously, there is not an ocean near Oklahoma,” said Brianna Brassfield, GEAR UP Education Coordinator. “The Oklahoma Aquarium allows students to see aquatic plants and animals they may never have another chance to see. They also learn a lot of scientific facts about the different aquatic life.”

The Oklahoma Aquarium opened in May 2003. For nearly 15 years, the Oklahoma Aquarium has been dedicated to the mission of educating and inspiring conservation of the aquatic world through interactive discovery. The aquarium is home to numerous species of invertebrates and fish, including those found in Oklahoma. It also has the Sea Turtle Island, a turtle feeding pond, a living reef, stingray feeding, and shark and stingray touch tank.

After the tours, students enjoyed sandwiches catered by Party Serve. During lunch, students shared their favorite experiences at the aquarium as well as things they learned throughout the day.

“My favorite part of the aquarium was the shark tunnel,” said Frink-Chambers sixth grade student, Hayden Graham. “While I was in there, a bull shark swam over my head.”

Hayden said he had been to the aquarium in the past, but he likes to continue visiting because the exhibits periodically change.

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.


Frink-Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP students visit the Oklahoma Aquarium. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Sahara Smith, Kamiryn Linden, Ethan Boyanton, Daniel Ellis, Lilly Baxter, Miguel Marco, Braxton Tucker, and Hayden Graham, (second row) Hensley Kidd, Kelsie Harden, Kaylee Rich, Tyler Giaudrone, Sophia Calistro, Cade Smith, Phoenix Lee, Christopher Cornish, Kaylee Irvin, (third row) McKinnzie Spivey, Ebony Ashley, Madison Fields, Raina Meashintubby, Montana Dean, Camryn Pizano, Rory Marlow, Keyila Reed, Allison Tabor, (back row) Lillian Blankenship, Ryan Wingo, Chase Williams, Kenny Zummer, Evan Lake, Benjamin Creech, Eli Wortham, Alan Smith and Khayli Ross.


Frink-Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP students stand next to one of the many fish exhibits at the Oklahoma Aquarium. Pictured are (left to right) Miguel Marco, Chase Williams and Ethan Boyanton.


Frink-Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP students learn about the Oklahoma Aquarium small animal holding facility. Pictured are (left to right) Braxton Tucker, Daniel Ellis, Ryan Wingo, Hayden Graham and Kenny Zummer.


Frink-Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP students feed turtles peeled carrots at the Oklahoma Aquarium. Pictured are (left to right) Braxton Tucker, Daniel Ellis and Cade Smith.


Frink Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP students stand inside a shark cage near the shark exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium. Pictured are (left to right) Raina Meashintubby, Ebony Ashley, Ryan Wingo, Eli Wortham, Benjamin Creech and Christopher Cornish.


Frink-Chambers sixth grade GEAR UP student records the water temperature of an animal tank in the small animal holding facility at the Oklahoma Aquarium while classmates observe. Pictured are (left to right) Sahara Smith, Cade Smith and Daniel Ellis.

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