Stories of the ocean: join our Foundation Crew!
Katja Laingui
Katja is the Education Operations Manager at the Aquarium Foundation. She gives support to the education team and the Foundation staff as a whole, with her attention to detail and project management skills. She also has a degree in sustainable development and one of her interests involves how to make people more interested in nature and the ecosystem services that we depend on. She is the author of the regular 'K's Kreature Feature' blog.

Our Foundation Crew is a subscription programme that offers exclusive content to those who subscribe for a monthly fee of R200. Your R200 means the world to us, as we can do so much with it. For R200 we can donate four books to children in under-resourced areas. For R200 two children can enter the Two Oceans Aquarium for free and enjoy one of our world-class lessons in our Discovery Centre. For R200, we can inspire six children with our outreach programmeOne turtle, on average, costs us about R4 600 to rehabilitate. Your R200 contribution will assist us to do so.  

What will you get for your R200?  

For the past six months, our teaching team has been hard at work creating educational content. Little did we know that our teachers are also amazing producers, animators and presenters. We have taken science communication to the next level by creating stories about the ocean. Read below the three different Crew levels that are available.  



Mini Crew: Spunky Sea Stories 

This one is for the little ones. Aimed at children between the ages of 3- and 7-years old, we have created various short clips, that are anywhere between three and four minutes long, to entertain and educate your child. Puppets Geo and Thalie, the hosts of the show, introduce various segments, such as Word Waves and Story Time. In Word Waves, Teacher Wafiqah uses amazing claymation to talk about different shapes, colours and letters. Teacher Aisha uses Story Time to talk to the kids about the featured animal in each episode, often with real examples, like Bob the green turtle. We also get your toddler off the couch with Fit Fishies, a short exercise clip that imitates the movements of penguins, otters and seals. There is so much more to see and experience, and the coolest thing is that new clips are released every week! The latest clips feature the Cape clawless otter. Each week there is also a craft video that you can do at home, and a colour-in page with the featured rhyme.  

Watch a trailer below to see some of the content:  


Cool Crew: MzanSea Stories 

This is for the not-so little ones. A production from our environmental educators, MzanSea Stories is a series of 30-minute episodes that takes you on a journey along the southern African coastline and beyond. The first episode launched Friday, 9 October, and investigates the ecosystems and animals along the east coast of southern Africa. Follow host Kirshia as she introduces Annie’s story, a loggerhead turtle found entangled in a net on Noordhoek beach, in Cape Town. Our other teachers, Bianca, Chanelle and Wandiswa inspire you with facts and amazing imagery. Wandiswa will also teach you some words relating to the ocean in isiXhosa. Can you guess what uFudo lwaselwandle means? Cool Crew is an exclusive subscription for kids between the ages of 8-and 12-years. A new, 30-minute episode will be released every two weeks. The next one is all about the west coast of southern Africa and will feature the African penguin, a critically endangered species. With each episode, a worksheet is included.  

Check out the trailer here:  

Pro Crew: uLwandle Stories 

This is for the almost grown-ups and actual grown-ups. ULwandle Stories follows the same theme as MzanSea Stories, but the content is adjusted to an older audience. Suited for tweens, teens and adults, you will learn, in more detail, what the functions of ecosystems in the ocean are, and specific adaptations that some of the animals and seaweeds have evolved. With our stories, we aim to inform so that you are inspired to create a positive impact in your life, and for nature. In episode 1, host Kirshia, and teacher Anzio, take you along the east coast of southern Africa and talk about coral reefs and special adaptations that seaweeds possess, to survive the warm temperatures and specific feeding habits of some tropical fish. In this episode you will learn about the Comet, a beautiful fish that has perfected the art of camouflage. Dive into the amazing underwater world with actual underwater footage.  

Check out the trailer here: 

Whether you are a family, an individual, or a teacher, there is something for everyone. Our stories are guaranteed to inspire you and will make you appreciate the rich marine heritage we have along our coastline. R200 for us means we can continue the amazing work we do, with people, animals and the ocean. What does R200 mean for you?  

To sign-up, visit our Foundation Crew page. Use ‘FreeCrewOct2020’ for Cool and Pro Crew subscriptions to get the rest of October free. First payment only 1 November. Subscription sign up is for one year, but you can cancel anytime.