Tennessee Aquarium announces teacher appreciation day

Chattanooga, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a couple of hours away from metro Atlanta, is trying to join in the support of schools and teachers with a special offer.

"We have a wide range of standards-based programs to offer students from Pre-K to twelfth grade," said Jennifer Latour, the Aquarium's education coordinator. "Unfortunately many educators are unaware that these classroom programs are available without cost to any school group visiting the Aquarium with ten or more students."

Regional educators will have an opportunity to see first-hand what's offered to school groups during Teacher Appreciation Day from 10 am to 6 pm. Saturday.

To attend, educators simply need to show a current teacher ID or pay stub at the Aquarium's ticketing center to visit the Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater at no cost. The offer is good for one teacher and one guest. Additional guest tickets may be purchased that day at the education group rates.

Throughout the day, Tennessee Aquarium educators will provide brief information sessions, classroom tours, point out available online tools and offer free classroom materials.

"Teachers will get to see everything that's new at the Aquarium and gain insight into the many ways our programs supplement their lesson plans," said Latour.

Classroom spaces are available in the River Journey building and in the IMAX Center. With multiple locations, Aquarium educators are also able to work with teachers to maximize their time here.

"We can turn lunch time into a learning experience during our free 'Lunch & Learn' programs which include special presentations, hands-on activities or animal encounters," said Latour.

The Tennessee Aquarium is the only zoo or aquarium in the United States that is accredited as a supplementary education school by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Every fun-filled program offered at the Aquarium correlates to the national and state science standards for Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

A few teachers might discover ways to explore multiple subjects at the Aquarium.

"Some educators are beginning to incorporate our newest exhibit, Jellies: Living Art, in their lesson plans to show how nature fuels artistic expression," said Latour.

Educators who sign up for the Aquarium's education e-newsletter during Teacher Appreciation Day on January 16 will be registered to win a free field trip to the Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater complete with up to $100 reimbursement for transportation.