The GWC – Aquarium of the Pacific Connection

GWC faculty and staff work with the Aquarium of the Pacific to educate kids, nationally and internationally, through broadcasting.

The Aquarium of the Pacific received a grant from the Roddenberry Foundation to add a high tech education facility at the Aquarium. With this grant they built a broadcast studio with a teleconferencing system, tied to cameras around the facility.

“Our goal with the interactive video conferencing program is to bring our animal collection and programs to audiences that would not otherwise have access, nationally and internationally” explained Sarah Swain, Marine Biologist/Educator and Technology Media Coordinator.

Sarah was seeking the help of media professionals in education to complete the project and make it a reality.  She was fortunate to find two willing experts at Golden West College – Renah Wolzinger, Digital Media Instructor and John Hanna, Digital Media Production Analyst.

Renah Wolzinger was brought on to edit the content for the shows and run the teleconference and broadcast equipment while working with the Marine Biologists. John Hanna came on board to design the show layout and help the staff with many technical hurdles they were encountering with the new equipment.

The first show was broadcast on October 25th and was a complete success. The students completed a squid dissection and it was an amazing use of technology in learning. During the first show the Los Angeles Department of Education came to both sites to film a documentary, Virtual Field Trips, where this project will be featured.

“It is exciting to be able to use your skills to work for a great cause, and the Aquarium is a fantastic place to make it happen,” commented Wolzinger.

The aquarium will now expand its education beyond the walls of the facility and will be able to reach schools and educators around the world. It is an exciting project for both the aquarium and the college, and one that many people are watching to see how this technology brings distance education to new heights.