Peoria, Illinois,
14:58 PM

Jump STEAM at Home Offers Sea Creatures On-Demand

What started as an at-home option to keep kids learning the arts and sciences over the summer has expanded into an on-demand option as students return to school either virtually or in-person.

A new series of STEAM at Home programs from Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center in Peoria features live, streaming labs, via Zoom, that are also available as a recorded link -- offering the convenience and flexibility most parents and students are looking for as schedules have been up-ended due to protocols surrounding the ongoing COVID pandemic.

“They can sign-up for the live labs that are scheduled for Saturdays, but they can use the post-event link to participate at their own pace,” according to Noel Adams, director of Innovation Lab Programming at Jump Simulation. “That option allows students to pause the video to execute a task or if they want to skip ahead, they have the ability to do that.”

The next series of labs allows children to explore the diversity of life in the darkest, coldest reaches of the ocean by dissecting a foot-long, color changing, beaked, inking squid. The virtual dissection lab, Comparative Anatomy of Mysterious Sea Monsters, compares the squid to the anatomical benefits of being a jawless lamprey whose suction-cup mouth with tiny sharp teeth, a crab that uses its claws to manipulate its food, and a starfish that projects its stomach over its prey to digest it outside its body.

The labs are divided by grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12, with the material designed for the appropriate knowledge and skill levels.

“The Sea Monsters class uses comparative anatomy in a fun way to teach students learn to look for similarities, differences and patterns in everything around them. The concepts apply to all living organisms who have similar basic survival needs – air to breathe, food to eat, and systems to release waste and procreate,” explained instructor Shannon Egli.

“The latest course emphasizes creatures in the deep ocean evolved with features that allow them to survive even the harshest conditions. But students quickly learn that, like humans, when one basic need isn’t met, it throws off the entire system and threatens life.”

Instructors for STEAM at Home are part of a partnership with the Illinois College of Medicine - Peoria (UICOMP) and OSF HealthCare using trained educators with a background in a variety of health-related fields to offer an exciting menu of fun, interactive classes that convey concepts focusing on Science, Engineering, Technology, Art and Math. 

The lab dissection kits can be picked up the second Wednesday of the month at the Jump Center at 1306 Berkley Avenue or for an additional fee, they can be mailed anywhere in the country. The kits are vacuum-sealed so there is no need to refrigerate. They can be kept stored until ready to use. 

Parents and students can visit the Jump STEAM at Home website to register for any of the upcoming classes or on-demand video options from previous STEAM at Home dissection labs including the virtual Baby Shark Lab or Home is Where the Heart Is … and All Other Organs Too.

PNC has provided ongoing support for STEAM programs including STEAM at Home, which also extends learning options for patients at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

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Jump Simulation is a collaboration between the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria and OSF HealthCare. The center replicates a variety of patient care settings to ensure novice and seasoned clinicians can practice handing medical situation in a life-like environment. Boasting six floors and 168,000 square feet, the center is one of the largest of its kind and provides space for conferences, anatomic training, virtual reality and innovation. More information at