Students can vote for their favourite teacher to interact with a carnivorous water monitor lizard.
The largest aquarium in the Middle East, The National Aquarium at Al Qana in Abu Dhabi announced the launch of a first of its kind programme “Professor’s Aquademy.” The curriculum will cover four key topics from the UAE’s coastal heritage to conservation. These are designed to share knowledge and spark interest in the natural world amongst the younger generations. Until at which time school excursions recommence, The National Aquarium will be offering free online sessions to the education community with a twist.
In response to the new challenges presented by Covid-19, The National Aquarium is launching ‘Professor’s Aquademy’ virtually to schools. Students will be able to nominate one teacher from their school to visit the aquarium and livestream the experience with the students. The nominated teacher will need to “face their fears” and enter the habitats for a hands-on teaching experience with ‘Professor’ the water monitor lizard, rehabilitated sea turtles and other iconic animals from all around the world.
‘Professor’ the water monitor lizard, was hand-reared and trained by a certified breeding facility in the United States (Los Angeles) that meets all the international standards. The ‘Professor’ started his career in Hollywood pictured with numerous celebrities but now in Abu Dhabi, his role as education ambassador will help many young people access the wonders of the natural world at the aquarium. The Water Monitor is a good ambassador for this programme because as a species, it plays a key role in forests, rivers and coastlines, moving across multiple habitats, which are all represented within The National Aquarium’s ten zones.
Education is a priority for The National Aquarium to enlighten all generations on the natural world around them, and the concept of conservation. Inspired by Baba Dioum, a celebrated Senegalese environmentalist, this programme is designed to open school children’s minds through knowledge and understanding. Baba Dioum’s quote motivates the education team every day, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”
Schools and teachers in Abu Dhabi can request a free online educational session to meet ‘Professor’ and set up a video conference call. Ultimately, these educational programmes will be held in person at The National Aquarium when restrictions lift.
For requests, contact The National Aquarium education department [email protected]