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Penguin Pops in to Surprise Aquarium Class

ATLANTA (October 14, 2016) – Georgia Aquarium’s penguin care team surprised a class of students from Centennial Academy with a unique and fun educational experience. Sixteen students from Adele Pollard’s fourth grade class have been learning about the importance of conservation, and were surprised with an African penguin named Kidogo. The students asked questions and were eager to share everything they knew about African penguins.

The students are learning information on a variety of different topics, including aquatic plants and animals, chemistry, marine ecosystems and conservation, math, and more. Providing the students with the opportunity to meet an African penguin is important in tying together what they have learned and how it applies outside of the classroom. African penguins are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Allowing students to make that connection with an animal is important in focusing on future conservation efforts.

Centennial Academy, a partner school with Georgia Aquarium, is a conversion charter school located less than one mile from the Aquarium. The school’s gifted program for grades one through five uses classroom spaces at the Aquarium every day in hopes of allowing the students to experience firsthand what they are learning in the classroom and how it applies in real life situations.

“Our partnership with Centennial Academy is significant because it allows the students to come here every day and learn in a unique environment,” said Kim Morris-Zarneke, manager of educational programs at Georgia Aquarium. “Seeing their faces light up after surprising them with one of our African penguins, really is an educators dream. They get to make connections with what they’re learning about and really understand the importance behind it.”

To learn more about Georgia Aquarium’s partnership with Centennial Academy, please visit the Aquarium’s blog. For more information on African penguins and Georgia Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts, visit Caring Together for African Penguins.



Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals. Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to be a scientific institution that entertains and educates, features exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offers engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit


African penguins are found on the southernmost coast of Africa in temperate climates. An adult African penguin stands 18 to 25 inches tall and weighs approximately six to seven pounds. African penguins have black backs and a white chest, that may also have black markings. The feathers are stiff and overlap to trap air next to the skin to help them stay warm. African penguins pair and bond for life, with both parents sitting on the nest and tending to their young. African penguins are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

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