Learning about animals is an important part of elementary school education. The Internet can greatly aid this important part of the curriculum due to the many websites that are dedicated to animal facts. Recently SeaWorld Orlando and Scholastic (both highly regarded organizations) teamed up to launch a website about Antarctica and penguins. The website is targeted at children between the ages of 5-10, although anyone who likes penguins and nature can enjoy the offerings.
The website is tied into “SeaWorld’s Antarctica,” a new theme-park feature that is set to open on May 24, 2013. The exhibition is designed to look like icy Antarctica. The display will include a ride and animation followed by a view of live penguins on display as part of SeaWorld’s impressive aquarium. According to the overview on the official SeaWorld website:
“Are you ready for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin? It’s coming to SeaWorld Orlando spring 2013. You’ll be transported into the icy world of the penguin like never before, on a first-of-its-kind family adventure ride, and you’ll walk among penguins as you explore their colony.”
Additionally, a traveling exhibition pertaining to SeaWorld’s Antarctica exhibition will be visiting the cities of New York, Boston, Washington D.C, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Jacksonville and Miami. According to the official website:
“Get a virtual sneak peek of the continent’s thrills and chills when you walk side by side with a penguin colony, go beneath the surface, become an Arctic explorer and enjoy a unique family experience. You can also play games, take photos and enter to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to SeaWorld Orlando. There will even be live penguins making scheduled appearances. Take the fun with you by downloading the coolest app on earth and sharing the activities with your family and friends.”
“SeaWorld’s Antarctica” is hugely anticipated and the website, that is now available for use, offers people all over the world a chance to read about penguins and see what SeaWorld has done to make their resident penguins comfortable. Anyone who is able to take a trip to SeaWorld should certainly take advantage of the opportunity. However, for those who do not have the means to travel out of state then the website offers an impressive display of images and information about penguins.
The website’s most marvelous feature is the “Penguin Cam” that allows visitors to see a live video feed to see what SeaWorld’s resident penguins are doing throughout the day. For anyone who cannot see the penguins in person, this feature is a treasure: http://seaworldparks.com/seaworld-orlando/antarctica/empire-of-the-penguin/penguin-cam
“SeaWorld’s Antarctica” also offers website visitors a chance to win a trip to SeaWorld, watch a video about the creation of SeaWorld’s Antarctica exhibition, and even offers a fun quiz to find out your “penguin personality.” A website like this offers children the chance to learn about penguins and it also illustrates how entertainment (such an animation and rides) can be built to model natural things and subsequently blur the line between entertainment and education.
Scholastic and SeaWorld are both organizations that are dedicated to providing family-friendly entertainment and raising awareness about subjects pertaining to many topics, including the preservation of wildlife. SeaWorld is much more than a place of entertainment; it is also an organization that is dedicated to the rescue, care and conservation of many species. SeaWorld offers sleepovers, animal interactions, and camps to connect with children who live nearby. However, by branching out into the virtual realm SeaWorld is able to delight children all across the globe.
As technology advances to allow more and more features of even the most far-off places to become accessible to practically everyone then overall global awareness of topics such as penguins will increase. By being so virtually proactive via websites and apps, SeaWorld is taking a step in the right direction.
For more information about SeaWorld’s Antarctica visit: http://seaworldparks.com/seaworld-orlando/Antarctica