Aquarium Receives National Education Award
October 11, 2017
PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. – North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores was awarded the Association of Zoos and Aquariums 2017 education award for an organization of its size. The Aquarium was specifically recognized for significant achievement in the establishment of its one-of-a-kind Aquarium Teen Ambassadors Program.
The AZA education award was broken into categories based on size of operating budget and recognized outstanding achievement in educational program design; judging programs on their ability to promote conservation knowledge, attitudes and behavior, show innovation, and measure success.
“Science education at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums is marked by a sharing of knowledge, discovery, and a passion for wildlife,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “This well-deserved award recognizes the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores as a leader in conservation education; with its unique teen ambassador program fostering a lifelong appreciation of nature among its participants.”
Through instructor-led, group activities and hands-on experiences, participants in the Aquarium Teen Ambassadors program learn about the diverse marine life along the coast and how to take an active role in protecting species and habitats. Teen ambassadors, led by Aquarium staff, meet twice a month for a program that inspires a sense of wonder, while building and strengthening relationships with like-minded youth. The program focuses on leadership, public speaking and presentation skills in a fun and exciting way.
“The Aquarium Teen Ambassadors program is a valuable opportunity for the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores to engage local and regional youth with a goal of sharing the Aquarium mission and conservation efforts, while building a greater understanding of our millennial audience,” said Michael Fatzinger, director of North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.