Over 427,000 visitors each year come to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher to have a bit of fun. But the aquarium offers far more than the chance to peer underwater at the fascinating creatures. It also delivers educational opportunities for kids and adults.
For instance, as an inflatable company, we recently had the honor of creating a life-sized inflatable wildlife replica of a newborn Northern Right whale calf. Her purpose at the aquarium is to teach visitors about the importance of whales in our oceans as well as generate excitement about the aquarium and its programs.
The whale was displayed at the World Oceans Day event and will be used at the opening of the aquarium's new whale and dolphin exhibit, as well as other onsite events. One of the programs the aquarium is interested in developing is a mock stranding program that would allow students to use the inflatable whale to learn what they can do to help animals who are stranded. The inflatable will also be used for the aquarium's Whale of a Weekend event.
All of the fun won't take place at the aquarium, however. The aquarium also offers outreach programs that will take their inflatable wildlife replica to nearby schools and community groups.
Jennifer Metzler-Fiorino, Education Curator, explained, "We hope to accomplish making a connection for our visitors and program participants to marine mammals and our oceans. By being able to show a life-sized example of a baby whale, we hope to communicate solutions to ocean issues." What was the ordering process like? Jennifer said, "Working with Tom was excellent. He was patient and extremely helpful throughout our process." Way to go, Tom!