UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AT STEINHART AQUARIUM

Get a closer look at Steinhart's animals during new daily programs

SAN FRANCISCO (August 23, 2005) - It’s back to school time, and the Academy of Sciences is working to make learning more fun than ever by allowing kids of all ages to interact more closely with the animals and biologists of Steinhart Aquarium. In addition to the popular penguin feedings, which take place twice a day, the Academy is now offering a suite of new aquarium programs, including scheduled piranha and giant sea bass feedings, coral reef dives, “Meet the Biologist” sessions, and a variety of other exciting activities. Scheduled interactive programs take place four times a day from Monday-Thursday and five times a day from Friday-Sunday. Check www.calacademy.org for a detailed schedule.

WHO: Charismatic Academy biologists along with piranhas, penguins, pythons, a giant sea bass, clownfish, and dozens of other Steinhart animals.
WHAT: Kids meeting – and sometimes touching – live animals, snakes swallowing supper, biologists diving into the two-story Coral Reef tank, and much more.
WHERE: The California Academy of Sciences , 875 Howard Street.
WHEN: Every day in September and October
WHY: Because kids and animals are an irresistible combination!

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER EVENTS

PENGUIN FEEDINGS
Every Day at 11 am & 3 pm
During daily penguin feeding shows, visitors may watch and ask questions as one of the Academy’s aquatic biologists dons a wet suit and tosses vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin to the penguins. Each feeding takes 20 minutes. Free with museum admission.

SEE THE UNSEEN
Every Day at 12 pm
Join an Academy naturalist for a hands-on activity featuring little-seen treasures from the Academy’s specimen collection or fascinating live animals . Free with museum admission.

CREATURE FEATURE STORY TIME
Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 am
Children’s story time, a long-time favorite program at the Academy, just got more exciting. Join us for a story-reading session about one of the animals at the Academy. Then, see the real thing as you meet a live animal or examine a scientific specimen. Appropriate for ages 3-7. Free with museum admission.

FISH FEEDING FRENZY
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 10 am and 2 pm
Watch as an Academy biologist feeds some of your favorite Steinhart residents. Scheduled feedings take place twice a day every Friday, Saturday and Sunday . The giant sea bass will be fed every Saturday at 2 pm , and the piranhas will be fed every Sunday at 2 pm . A variety of other aquarium animals will be fed during the remaining scheduled feeding times. Free with museum admission.

CORAL REEF CARETAKING
Mondays and Wednesdays at 2 pm
Watch as an Academy biologist suits up in SCUBA gear and dives into the Academy’s two-story Coral Reef tank to care for the reef’s inhabitants. During this 20-minute dive, the biologist will clean the tank windows and feed the anemones and fish. A second biologist will be on hand to answer questions. Free with museum admission.

MEET THE BIOLOGIST
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 pm
Meet an Academy biologist and discover how to care for aquarium creatures. Depending on the animal you visit, you may learn how to take and test water samples, check filters, clean tanks, or administer appropriate amounts of food. Free with museum admission.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEINHART
Thursday, September 29 at 12 pm
Steinhart Aquarium is 82 years old today! Help us celebrate with a special birthday cake and a toast from Aquarium Director Chris Andrews . All 82-year olds and their families receive free admission for this day only. Free with museum admission.

The California Academy of Sciences, including Steinhart Aquarium and the Natural History Museum, is open to the public at 875 Howard Street, Admission to the Academy at 875 Howard Street is: $7 for adults, $4.50 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages 65+ and students with valid ID, $2 for children ages four to 11 and children ages three and younger will be admitted free of charge. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. www.calacademy.org (415) 379-8000.

The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. The Academy is beginning an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is expected to open in 2008.

# # # #