When students enter the Splash Education Center, they enter a
world of fun, hands-on science investigation that builds on the
knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom through the
curriculum materials and activities. After a brief
introduction, the students split into three groups. Each group
follows its guide through the three learning stations in the
At the microscope station, the students get to see things that
few kids (or adults for that matter) ever get a chance to see!
They peer through microscopes and identify live specimens of
aquatic invertebrates that inhabit the vernal pools at Mather.
The Splash Elementary Curriculum contains strong messages about
protecting water quality throughout our watersheds. The concept
of a watershed can be difficult to grasp. We’ve found the best
way to help students understand it is to experiment with a model
of an urban area with streams flowing through it.
Critterville is frequently the highlight of a student’s time
inside the Center. Here, the students get “up close and personal”
with live animals that are commonly found in and around the
vernal pools at Mather.
Sir Hiss-a-Lot was hatched sometime around 1993. When Sir Hiss
was a baby snake, he was captured by a boy who didn’t know that
you should never keep a wild animal as a pet. Nonetheless, the
boy took excellent care of him for about 10 years…
For 2 billion years, bacteria were the only creatures on Earth.
Long before the dinosaurs, a special type of bacteria slowly
increased the level of oxygen in the Earth’s air to 20 percent.
Without this oxygen other plants and animals could not have
evolved, including us.