Xplore at SAMI

Xplore the Zoo and Trails

In Logan, Lyan, and Tyda’s class, kids explore the trails of Point Defiance Park in search of native and non-native plants. Kids also travel to the zoo to observe the different animals. The class learns about how an animal’s habitat changes and why the animal must also change along with it. The kids take this knowledge and create a plant-animal hybrid by the end of the week! They also get a chance to paint rocks!

In Nicole, Kaliana, and Anyssa’s class, the overarching theme is ecology, meaning the study of how animals interact with their surroundings. Kids learn the importance of ecology at the Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium while hiking on the trails in the park. The end project allows Xplorers to be their own zookeeper. Kids learn how zoos take good care of a diverse set of animals, and why protecting the environment is important!

In Ruby, Josh, Ean, and Greg’s class, kids will learn all about biodiversity through the lens of the zoo, and by finding native plants on our trails. Kids will also learn about habitat loss and how it affects individual animals through independent research. By the end of the week, these Xplorers should be experts on their animals and how they can survive in their natural habitats!

Xplore the Beach

In Dana, Emily, and Gabe’s class, kids build on their curiosity of marine organisms and habitats. The kids get to conduct a lab experiment on ocean water acidification, which exposes the problems facing the ocean today. Kids get a first hand look at the animals discussed in class down at Owen Beach. By the end, kids construct a project where they create a marine organism and explain its characteristics!

In JD, Huyen-Tram, and Julia’s class, the theme is “habitats.” Through the week, the kids learn about biomes, food chains, and pollution through interactive videos, discussion, and even by visiting the zoo. They use the knowledge they’ve gathered to create an artistic representation of a biome in small groups, maybe with a game of were-shark thrown in here and there!

In Evelyn and Dominic’s class, marine biology has never been more alive in this hands-on class! Kids build their own terrariums, turn over rocks revealing starfish at Owen Beach, and observe the magic of sharks at the aquarium. Walk the trails, paint rocks, and learn what we can do to protect the Northwest ecosystem.

In Trevor, Kirk, and Midnight’s class, students go to Owen Beach and explore the different kinds of organisms living there. Kids also investigate animals in the Point Defiance Aquarium, leading up to the final project of sea animal classification!

Xplore Makerspace

In Latisha, Alexia, Aaron, Lukas and the SotaBots’ class, kids learn the basics of block coding and an intro to the engineering process by working with many NXT Lego robots. By the end of the week, each student will have worked in a team to design, build, and program a robot to move through a series of tough mazes and challenges!

In Tyler, Derrick, and Tommy’s class, kids get an introduction to SAMI’s Makerspace Lab. Kids do an egg drop and engage with paper tower and paper bridge challenges. Other fun activities include Playdoh circuits and spaghetti tower builds. Kids also participate in a cushion build for gravity tests. The major project includes building 2-liter bottle rockets and parachutes which will slow their descents back to Earth!

In Blake Hansen, Ben, and Lily’s class, students are experimenting with small boat design while learning how to use hand tools and woodworking techniques. The first class built the frame for a 17-foot rowboat and put the finishing touches on a catamaran they will launch! The students also showed off their creativity while designing and building 2-3 individual projects!