Shedd Aquarium unveils new teen space Saturday

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.

Register by Friday afternoon

  • Saturday’s open house will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday.
  • Starting Sept. 24, the lab will be open 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays and
    Thursdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
  • Entry is free. Students must have valid high school ID and
    should check in at the Education Entrance on the north end of the
    building. Walk-ins are accepted, but the release form must be
    completed in advance.
  • For more info: www.sheddaquarium.org/teenlab

Activities and Experiences: Some are ongoing and some are
periodic over the course of the open house.

  • Animal Encounters
  • ROV Challenge
  • Squid Dissection & Exploration
  • Great Lakes Field Research Experiences
  • Animal Slides –  Exploration and Analysis
  • Exhibit Model Building 101
  • Animal Training and Enrichment
  • The Inside Scoop on Shedd Produced Television Commercials
  • Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center: Student Summit Delegation –
    Career Action Plan
  • 1 sec Daily Cam Corner
  • iMotionHD Mini Activity
  • Collective Art Project

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 nation.

“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.

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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