Have whale of a time learning as Albany Historic Whaling Station joins Children’s Univeristy

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Whaling station general manager Elise van Gorp with the Hilda Hotker shell collection.
Camera IconWhaling station general manager Elise van Gorp with the Hilda Hotker shell collection. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Albany’s Historic Whaling Station has launched a new learning experience as it becomes one of the first destinations in the Children’s University program in Albany.

The new program allows students to travel to learning destinations around Albany, such as the whaling station, using their Passport to Learning in the lead-up to their graduation.

As a partner in the Children’s University, the station has developed programs to educate students outside of the classroom.

Albany’s Historic Whaling Station general manager Elise van Gorp said they wanted to spark curiosity in young minds.

“Our partnership with the Children’s University aims to engage the imagination and creativity of local students and encourage the wider community to explore this new learning experience,” she said.

“The partnership is a wonderful opportunity for children and their families to explore and discover things in their local community, beyond the classroom, including some of the rich maritime history related to Albany’s past.

“It is an opportunity for us to enhance and contribute to enriching children’s learning experiences in a setting where the history actually took place, which makes it a very real learning experience.”

She said the diverse range of learning opportunities at the station would “bring to life” aspects of Albany’s whaling past.

“We have developed specific programs and activities that will appeal to a variety of interests and levels of ability so that we can reach and engage with local students and the wider community.

“One expanded activity area is in our amazing Shell Room, which hosts an extensive shell exhibit.

“The Shell exhibit was gifted to the station by Hilda Hotker, a past local Albany resident, whose grandfather was a whaler in the 1800s and whose family history extends back to early foundation days.”

The Children’s University program is designed for children aged 7-14.

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