Sharks4Kids App

  • Sharks
Years funded
  • 2015, 2016
  • Archived
Project type
  • Education

Did you know that sharks have evolved over 400 million years and have special powers? Derek hopes to create a new generation of shark heroes by allowing children to explore sharks through an engaging app and video series.

Sharks4Kids App

Derek Burkholder

Project leader
About the project leader

I am a nature lover through and through. I grew up spending most of my time outdoors in Michigan, USA. Hiking, camping, boating, swimming – it didn’t matter. As long as I was outside, I was happy. I have always felt a passion for water, whether it is fresh or salt or in a lake, river or ocean. When I was a child our family used to travel to Florida on vacation and to visit family friends. It was on one of these trips, listening to the naturalist on a boat tour of the Everglades, that I decided I wanted...

Project details

External shark anatomy and senses mobile app and video curriculum

Key objective

We would like to create an educational web/mobile app and video series to teach kids about the external anatomy and evolutionary traits that make many sharks incredible apex predators, but also the vulnerabilities and conservation challenges sharks face globally.

Why is this important

One of the main challenges in shark conservation is breaking stereotypes and makings sharks interesting without harnessing the ‘monster’ mentality. We want to introduce kids to exciting facts in a new way that is dynamic and engaging, while also matching a curriculum that can be incorporated into standard learning modules.


Shark education can be intimidating for teachers, so we want to create a complete curriculum packet for educators that includes digital media content and teaching guides. Videos and images act as powerful tools not only for education, but also for changing perceptions of sharks. This content can in turn be used in an app to further engage students and get them excited to learn about sharks. We are hoping an interactive app will help exchange fear with facts.

At Sharks4Kids we believe that education of our youth is paramount for conservation of marine systems, and we strive to develop educational materials that make shark education and conservation issues available and accessible to students of all ages at no cost to the student or educator.

Aims & objectives

The general aim of this project is to develop an educational web/mobile app and video series to teach kids about sharks. Our specific objectives for the app are as follows:

  • Use ultra-high definition macro photos and videos so that kids learn the different parts of a shark and what function they serve (fins, ampullae of lorenzini, dermal denticles, eyes, etc.).
  • Structure the app and videos in a way that puts sharks in a larger context so that kids learn about the environmental and anthropogenic threats impacting sharks globally.
  • Develop a supporting teaching packet that will allow the video and app to be used in the classroom as a teaching module or a stand-alone tool for kids to explore and learn about sharks.
  • Make the app, videos and educational material free to all interested parties for download and use on multiple platforms (internet, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Android).
  • Promote the app globally using our website, school visits (Skype and in person) and social media efforts.