Penguins: Wings, Beaks, and Feathers, Oh My!
Wednesday, April 25, is World Penguin Day.
Join us for a free online program as we waddle like penguins! Watch an Academy biologists feed our colony in our African Penguin exhibit and get your questions answered by a museum educator.
Dates: Wednesday, April 25th
This program will be broadcasted three times on this date
Times: 10:10am PT (1:10pm ET) or 11:10am PT (2:10pm ET)
Duration: 30 minutes
Target Audience: Kindergarten - 2nd grade
Interactivity Options: Teacher using a Chat Box
In this free online program, Academy museum educators will bring K-2 students into our African Penguin exhibit!
Students will meet and learn about the South African Penguin. By observing the penguins in our colony, students learn how penguins are similar to other birds and how their differences help them survive in their environment. Students will explore what it is like to be a penguin by waddling and swimming like one, while investigating the habitat in which they live. Finally, students will have the chance to ask their questions about penguins to Academy staff while watching the live colony.
This program is designed to be interactive in nature!
Students will have the opportunity to ask Academy museum educators, via a chat box about their curiosities regarding penguins, the Academy's colony, and much more.
During these web chats, students will be able to see and hear the Academy science educator, and teachers will be able to enter comments and questions into a text-based chat window
To participate you must have the following technology available:
- Desktop, laptop computer, or tablet
- Strong internet connection; a wired connection is preferable
- An updated version of the free application Zoom installed on your computer or tablet
- If you have a large class we also recommend having a projector and speakers
Groups are limited to no more than 75 students and no more than 2 classes for a single connection.
"During the presentation many students sketched and jotted notes into their science notebooks. After the program the students were oozing with excitement . They were anxious to have conversations with their peers about new found knowledge on African penguins. I noticed many students added more details to their notes. They then begged for more time to write about African penguins. They were still talking about African penguins the next day and several visited the principal to share what they learned."
-3rd Graders at Lincrest Elementary, Yuba City CA
"My students enjoyed being able to see their questions in the chat box and having them answered. They also enjoyed seeing the questions other classes had."
-2nd Graders at Lincoln Community School, Bayonne NJ
"I love being able to use the technology in the classroom. We loved being there but still in our classroom!"
1st Grade teacher at St Joseph Elementary School, Alameda CA
Though the Academy's penguin colony is healthy and growing, their wild relatives aren't faring as well. Based on major population declines (at least 90 percent over the 20th century), African penguins were designated as an endangered species in September 2010 by the IUCN and the USFWS. In 1930, there were roughly a million of these charmers in their native West African habitat, but penguin biologists now estimate that there are only about 25,000 African penguin pairs remaining in the wild.
The good news is that African penguins are finding a strong ally in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences and 53 other zoos and scientific institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The SSP's goal is to ensure the long-term survival of a viable population of African penguins. Since 1983, numerous chicks hatched at the Academy have moved to other zoos and aquariums around the country in order to maximize long-term genetic diversity in the captive-bred population. That population acts as a reservoir for genetic diversity, and could eventually be used to bolster wild penguin populations.