MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – While a multitude of shark attacks along the Carolina coast may have beach goers thinking twice about the water, Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach is encouraging people to get as close as possible with these creatures through their summer educational programs.
“What we are really hoping to do is to teach children why sharks are important and not be fearful of them,” Jessie Hairston Ripley’s Education Programming Coordinator said.
Folks are asked to bring their sleeping bags and pillows as they drift of to sleep in the shark tunnel.
“We teach them about the biology and anatomy of sharks,” Hairston said.
Through this educational experience ids realize that shark attacks are rare. In fact Hairston says you are more likely to get hurt slipping in your bathroom then with an encounter with a shark.
“They come in here and they are just fascinated to see the sharks,” Hairston said. “We do a lot of shark dissections here also and that is always really fun as kids eyes light up as they get to see what’s really inside and makes a shark tick.”
The programs run throughout the summer with various choices for patrons. Every Wednesday night is “Kids Night Out” where youth ages 6-14 can spend the night learning about the animals, enjoying a pizza party and sleeping with the sharks. There is also a “Sleep with the Sharks” program specifically for families to spend the night at the aquarium. Click here to learn even more information and learn how to book your event.
“One of the biggest things I hope these kids are gaining is maybe that spark that leads them into something they can be passionate about later in life,” Hairston said. “Maybe a career choice in science or something like that.”