The Thomas Memorial Library is pleased to be one of twenty libraries in the country to receive a grant from the Space Science Institute to support educational programs that explore local wildlife species and spark an interest in wildlife biology. The grant is offered in conjunction with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, producer of the new IMAX film Blue Whales: Return of the Giants, and the STAR Library Network, in partnership with the California Science Center and SK Films. The IMAX film can be viewed in full at the Simons Theater at the New England Aquarium in Boston; a shorter version of the film will be made available to the library as well.
Why blue whales?
Few species in the animal kingdom inspire awe and wonder like the blue whale—the largest species to ever roam the planet. Its incredible size, specialized behaviors and elusiveness make it a curiosity for scientists and schoolchildren alike. Marine biologists have spent decades trying to understand its lifestyle, and conservationists have committed their lives to bringing it back from the brink of extinction.
The work these experts do is exceptional in its own right, shedding new light on this magnificent species, the oceans, and the way biology works. But their efforts are also a window into the life of every field scientist, and an opportunity to help non-scientists—and children in particular—become explorers and protectors of the natural world wherever they live. The same techniques used by whale scientists at sea can be replicated in our own backyards, sparking interest in science, appreciation of nature, and the thrill of discovery.
Our Whale Tail!
As part of the grant, the library received a life-sized blue whale tail entry mat, which now leads the way up the library’s main desk on the upper level. Stop by and visit us, and see the awesome size of this incredible creature for yourself!
Whale Beats is an interactive music maker that lets users create music with real recordings of ocean creatures. Discover how blue whales and other ocean dwellers communicate, then use their sounds to compose your own musical masterpiece. A companion educator’s guide provides ideas for using Whale Beats in a variety of programs for groups and individuals.
Blue Whales: Augmented Reality Encounter
Explore the blue whale up-close in the immersive Blue Whales: Augmented Reality Encounter app. Watch its spectacular behaviors on your own submarine dive, or transform your very own whale from tabletop miniature to life-size giant. Using a handheld device or desktop computer, you’ll gain a whole new perspective on the biology, size and behavior of these magnificent creatures.