Sandcastles Children’s Museum adding water safety exhibit. 

September 24, 2019

Sandcastles Children’s Museum adding water safety exhibit. 

LUDINGTON — In response to the series of tragic drowning deaths this summer, Sandcastles Children’s Museum is developing a Water Safety Exhibit for the museum and a water safety community outreach program.

Part of the process of making a quality exhibit is research and discussion with community leaders.  Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole was one of the first people contacted by Executive Director Kristin Korendyke. Sheriff Cole has lent his full support to the museum and their planning efforts. “Education must play a vital role in keeping our citizens and visitors safe,” Cole said. “Pointing out the often-unseen dangers of rip currents, survival techniques to escape such currents, and equipment one can utilize to stay safe while out in the water all play such a huge role in protecting those drawn to the water. I am so pleased Sandcastles is willing to undertake such an important role in protecting our next generation through water safety education.”

The exhibit itself will consist of a large wave table that kids can experiment with interactively. They will be able to use a crank and paddle wheel to create a wave pattern, while using movable sandbars to see how the rip current effect develops. When children launch a swimmer or drop a ball/object into the water, they will see and understand the swift action of the dangerous currents.

There will also be a large selection of life jackets that kids can try on and learn how to fit and fasten properly. Not only will prizes will be provided by Sandcastles’ staff when a child models his or her correctly fitted life jacket, but the child will also get his photo taken so it can be displayed sharing with others that visit Sandcastles that life jackets are cool to wear and save lives.

When retired Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Todd Reed was contacted by Sandcastles to get his input, he helped connect Sandcastles with some great organizations to partner with as well as encouraging the museum to emphasize the importance of wearing life jackets or PFDs.

“I know from my Coast Guard experience and training, that if people are involved with more knowledge about the dangers associated with being on or near the water, they can use that knowledge to make a better assessment of the risk involved with being there on a particular day in that particular lake condition. They also will know that their chances of survival will be greatly enhanced by wearing a PFD.”

Other features of the exhibit will include a large video monitor with different educational videos that can be viewed by families as they interact with the exhibit, appealing graphics, maps/charts, charts and emphasis on the Flip, Float, Follow swimming technique.

“We are looking for partners to help us make this the best exhibit for educating families on how to stay safe in our beautiful, yet powerful Lake Michigan,” Korendyke said. “Help with ideas for exhibit features, fabrication of different elements of the exhibit, promotion, and donations are all welcome”

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