Underwater Month in Genius Numbers: Meet Diver Valerie Taylor and Craft Your Own Coral

March 22, 2022 / DIY & Printable

Genius content refreshes every month! This month, dive into the underwater world, learning about sharks, seashells, scuba, and everything in between.

We’ve compiled limited-time game updates, real-life genius stories, and educator-approved activities into interactive printables, designed to enhance your little kids’ learning. Access this week’s printable by clicking the button below:

Game Update

Check out Osmo Numbers for a limited-time “trip” to Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef.

Genius Spotlight: Valerie Taylor

When it comes to sharks and coral reefs, no one is as much of an expert as Valerie Taylor!

Valerie was born in Australia. She became a champion scuba diver and spearfisher in her 20s. After a few majestic encounters with sharks while spearfishing, Valerie decided she wanted to help conserve marine life instead of fish it.

Thanks to her diving skills, she was soon recruited to go on a scientific exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. Valerie spent six months diving the entire coral reef (over 1400 miles long!), documenting underwater life along the way.

Valerie’s filming style wasn’t for the faint of heart! She and her husband were the first people to film great white sharks without the protection of a cage. Their work was so impressive that they were asked to film the shark scenes for the famous movie Jaws

Valerie’s photography was special, too. Her work appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine twice. 

In the span of 60 years, Valerie has gone on over 10,000 dives. Her dedication to marine conservation has helped protect not only the Great Barrier Reef but oceans and marine life across the world.

Real-World Activity: Colorful Coral

Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable (button above) has instructions with photos!

Make your own “coral” at home using these materials:

  • Stack of white coffee filters (or paper towels)
  • Plate
  • Washable markers
  • Cup of water
  • Spoon
  • Tape

Instructions:

  1. Place your coffee filter on the plate.
  2. Color in your coffee filter with 2-3 different markers. You can draw stripes, dots, zigzags – whatever!
  3. With the coffee filter still on the plate, drop spoonfuls of water on it. The colors will spread out!
  4. Place your coffee filter somewhere it can dry.
  5. Repeat with more coffee filters.
  6. Once all your colored coffee filters are dry, fold them into different coral shapes. Try folding like a tube, accordion, or flower.
  7. Secure with tape, and display wherever!