Activities and Experiences: Some are ongoing and some are
periodic over the course of the open house.
Teens have a new place to learn beginning Saturday and it's more
cool than school. Shedd Aquarium is opening its new Teen Learning
Lab free to all high school students to help them explore science
in a whole new way.
Although Shedd has provided programs for teens for 40 years,
this is the first time the aquarium has offered a space just for
teenagers, says Melissa Williams, vice president of learning at
Shedd. It grows out of the demand for information Shedd has seen
from this age group, particularly with annual science fair projects
or career and college planning.
The lab will allow the students to meet Shedd experts and work
closely with biologists and the learning staff, while connecting
digitally with other students and resources across the state and
"We really wanted to find a way to help the kids help themselves
but enable us to be there with them and give them what they were
looking for," Williams says.
Located in the aquarium's Aquatic Education Center, the
renovated classroom will allow teens to conduct scientific
research, create multimedia products and participate in social
media activities. It contains 10 laptop computers, 20 iPads and
five desktop computers along with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, LCD
projectors and mp3 players. Local students active in Shedd's teen
programs helped create the new space.
Most of the programming will be created by teens, but Shedd is
providing structured activities during this pilot phase.
"I think it would enable them really to have a much richer
learning experience and not have to look so hard for those
resources. They can be tough to look up. Hopefully this space can
really connect them with a whole world of resources that's even
beyond Shedd," Williams says.
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