Friday, Sep 20th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 17:49

An Excursion to The Shore Oceanarium

Written by  Yong Siew Lee, Melaka / Translated by Lim Sai Ho

The children touched the starfish at the Interactive Zone. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

The six-year-old children of Da Ai Educare Centre visited The Shore Oceanarium, Melaka, to enrich their knowledge on underwater world and learn the importance of protecting Mother Earth.


 
Recently, a pilot whale was found stranded on a seashore in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Despite all efforts to save the whale, it never made it. An autopsy conducted revealed that there was 4.25 kg of plastic bags in its stomach! It is believed that the whale had mistaken the plastic bags as squids and swallowed them. As a result, it cannot digest other food properly, was malnourished and died of organ failure.
 
We always hear about such similar tragedy in the news. In order to enable the children to understand more about sea creatures and how human actions could endanger their lives, Teachers Lim Yan Ling and Koh Siew Tin of Da Ai Educare Centre, Melaka, specially arranged this outdoor curriculum for the six-year-old children. By so doing, it is hoped that these children will learn to love and take care of our Mother Earth
 
On the afternoon of March 24, 2015, the children gathered at the Da Shan Class to attend their Science lesson. Through a brief report and short video clips, Teacher Lim shared with them the fact that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by the oceans. She also taught them about the sea creatures and all types of danger encountered by them as a result of human greed.
 
“Why are sea creatures in danger?” asked Teacher Lim.
 
“Because plastic bags look like jellyfish, sea turtles will eat them unknowingly and get choked….”; “Plastic bags will cover up their noses and will wrap around them” - were some keen responses from the children.
 
“How then can we rescue them?” Teacher Lim enquired, and the children responded with “No littering!”; “Collect the rubbish for recycling” and so on.
 
Teacher Lim then told the children the modified version of “The Little Mermaid”: “Playful little mermaid threw a stone to the sea turtle and injured it. When told of her misbehaviour, she felt regretful and promised to remedy the situation. Finally, she becomes a little recycling vanguard to protect Mother Nature. So, do you want to become a little recycling vanguard too?” and everyone responded in unison, “Yes!”
 
Through the motivational story, Teacher Lim guided the children to understand that sea creatures live on the seabed just like human beings live on the land. She also hopes that the children can understand that everyone’s effort is important in doing good deeds; and with unity and joint efforts, we will have greater power.
 
Before the children become little recycling vanguards, the teachers planned this excursion to let them see the real living sea creatures. Early that morning, Wang Ai Zhen, Sales and Marketing Manager of The Shore Oceanarium, who is also a student parent, delivered the free entrance tickets to the Oceanarium for the children. 
 
Wonderful Underwater World 
 
On March 25 morning, 41 students, accompanied by teachers and parents, arrived at The Shore Oceanarium. Everyone excitedly went to the Interactive Zone to have a close experience of touching the sea cucumbers, stingrays, sea urchins, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, starfish, bamboo sharks and so on.  
 
Little Zhu Yan Cong bravely took the starfish handed to her by an aquarium-keeper and played with it. Then, she threw it back into the water. Her teacher then reminded her that she should not throw the starfish back into the water so hard. Realizing her mistake, she apologized to the starfish, “Sorry, I was careless for throwing you so hard!”
 
Su Long Bin was very excited to view the “Ocean Theatre” through the large aquarium and touch the swimming Coelacanth. “Wow, so many sharks! I saw stingrays too!” The children exclaimed as they viewed these sea creatures they had never seen in real life swimming in the huge aquarium. 
 
Chen Xi An showed special interest in spotted garden eels, which hid half of their bodies in sandy burrows and kept moving their heads in and out from the burrows to catch micro-organisms for food. Many children were also attracted to the tiny and cute Australian spotted jellyfish in blue and white.
 
The children were also amazed with the rod-shaped aquarium, which showcased “Malaysian River Ecosystem”. Everyone put their face against the glass and moved along with the river fishes as they swam around. Lastly, everyone gathered at the “Sea Turtle Village” to see the sea turtles cruising around.
 
Apply the knowledge learnt in daily lives
 
After the visit, the children gathered outside the Oceanarium and started sketching and drawing based on their personal experience. 
 
Lin Zi Yang’s drawing showed his interaction with the starfish, and the sea creatures he saw during the visit. In addition to what he saw in the aquarium, he also drew some rubbish he spotted when he and his family were enjoying themselves at a seaside.
 
Zhu Yan Cong drew sharks, sea turtles, sea horses and other sea creatures, as well as, a smiling kid picking up a bottle from the water. She expressed, “We must pick up rubbish because they will harm and kill the sea creatures.” 
 
“Hopefully our children will not only practise recycling at home and in school, but also care for the living environment,” said Teacher Koh.
 
 

 
Teacher Lim shared with the children how human actions could lead to marine life crisis, and encouraged them to care for the environment. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Everything in the aquarium was an eye-opener for the children. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Teacher Lim shared with the children how human actions could lead to marine life crisis, and encouraged them to care for the environment. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Everything in the aquarium was an eye-opener for the children. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
The six-year-old children visited The Shore Oceanarium in the company of their teachers and Loving Mothers. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   The children sketched their experiences there and then after the visit. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

The six-year-old children visited The Shore Oceanarium in the company of their teachers and Loving Mothers. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
 
The children sketched their experiences there and then after the visit. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Besides little mermaid, sharks, turtles, sea horses and other marine life, Zhu Yan Cong also included in her drawing a smiling kid, picking up a bottle from the water. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]    

Besides little mermaid, sharks, turtles, sea horses and other marine life, Zhu Yan Cong also included in her drawing a smiling kid, picking up a bottle from the water. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]