The Hands-On Science Center and the Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department will host World Wildlife Day on Sunday, March 3.
According to the World Wildlife Day website, March 3 became internationally recognized as World Wildlife day as a way to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
“World Wildlife Day is a worldwide event,” said Hands-On Science Center Director Sean Amidon. “Zoos and museums from all over recognize and celebrate this day. Its purpose is to teach the importance of wildlife. It covers a lot of awareness about human interaction with the environment and animal preservation.”
According to its website, this year World Wildlife Day is dedicated to “Life below water: for people and planet.” This is an opportunity to visit the Hands-On Science Center to learn about marine life as well as visit the newly renovated animal room.
The animal room has been moved into a more spacious area that used to be the center’s gift shop. It houses many unique reptiles, insects, poisonous frogs and even a colorful bird named Lucy. The room is filled with artifacts, furs and other hands-on items for children to explore the world of animals.
The science center also offers a section completely dedicated to marine life. The exhibit has colorful, saltwater and freshwater fish. In accordance with this year’s World Wildlife theme, there will be plenty of sights and activities available for everyone to learn about life under the water.
At the event there will be several live animal shows at every hour. There will be a bird of prey demonstration that tells all about the world’s carnivorous birds. Visitors will get an up close and personal learning experience about the birds that prey to survive in the wild.
Other shows will showcase non-carnivorous birds and reptiles big and small.
In addition, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency will be on hand with its demonstration trailer, full of artifacts and learning resources for those of all ages.
Crafts and activities will be available at all times during the event, including face painting and a bounce house if the weather permits.
“This is a great event that is the start of something new we’re going to start doing here at the Hands-On Science Center,” Amidon said. “This is the first event of new monthly events that will be open and free to the public. Each month will have a different theme. This is our way to reach out to new people and for new people to see what we’re about here at the center.”
While the event is free, some activities – such as face painting and the bounce house – will require a small fee as a way to raise funds for the continued expansion of the live animal room and to provide more educational opportunities for students visiting the center.
The center is also actively seeking sponsors to help with the addition.
The March 3 event will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and memberships will be offered at a discounted rate only on the day of the event.
Amidon also added that new summer camps are coming to the science center. From June through July, the center will offer eight straight weeks of camps in a series that features new and exciting material for hands-on summer learning.
Amidon stressed that it’s important to pre-register for these weeklong camps as they will fill up quickly.
Some of the topics for camp include: Spectacular Science, Amazing Animals, Engineering, Computer Science and Space. Some topics like Amazing Animals and Spectacular Science will be offered twice, but will cover different material in each camp.
In addition to the summer camps, the science center will offer before and after care for children. The camps will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and child care will begin at 7 a.m. and last until 7 p.m.