A whale of a tale

SAFE BASE students learned about whale sharks and other ocean facts as part of Shark Week activities.

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January 25, 2023 - 3:00 PM

Second-grader Alena Smail uses a flashlight to look over the various parts inside the whale shark. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

Students in SAFE BASE, the after-school program in USD 257, learned all about whale sharks as part of the annual Shark Week program. A school bus was decorated as a whale shark, the world’s largest fish that can grow to the size of a bus. Students crawled through a barrel to go into the bus, which was decorated with “organs” to look like the inside of a shark.

Students also learned about ocean pollution with an interactive presentation. They filled a tub with water and toy ocean creatures such as sea turtles and sharks, then discussed what would happen when they dropped oil and torn pieces of plastic bags into the environment.

SAFE BASE students line up in front of a school bus disguised as a whale shark to see just how big the creatures can grow.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register
Fifth grader Nebula Burrow, left, and sixth grader, Maddilyn Peres use cotton balls to soak up oil to simulate cleanup efforts in the ocean. Students learned about ocean pollution and the dangers posed to marine habitats. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register
Instructor Courtney Andres takes fingerprints of first grader Joceyln Sandidge. Colorful swirls and spots on a whale shark’s skin are each individualized like a person’s fingerprints.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register
Second-graders Cameron Vaughn, left, and Avrie Null cut old T-shirts to convert them into backpacks for one of the SAFE BASE activities.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register
Second graders Julian Trester-Earleywine, left, and Riley McGinnis cut old T-shirts to make backpacks.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register
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