At our elementary school, every year, the 6th graders go on a three day science camp adventure to San Diego and study oceanography. Hallie has been looking forward to this day for two years. This whole year has been a build up to this adventure – and I was lucky enough to accompany her as a parent chaperone. Spending three days with her and her friends (and friend’s parents) was awesome – I could do without the 20 hours in a bus full of 6th graders – especially when kids started throwing up!!
We participated in three main activities: A floating lab (fishing boat), Sea World and the aquarium.
After riding for hours on a bus, our first stop was the floating lab – a fishing boat that took us out to the open ocean. The kids were instructed to stop eating hours before this and then most took motion sickness pills and I think all of that was good advice. There were only a few who started to feel queasy. I think most were unprepared for how cold it was – even though they were instructed over and over again to dress warm. I suppose its hard for someone packing a bag when it’s 97 degrees out to think they would ever need a coat. Hallie and I were prepared and I was so grateful to not be cold.
After trawling the ocean floor, the nets were pulled in and the findings were examined. Hallie was probably sitting a little to close to the bucket for her comfort and I have several pictures of her with curious/disgusted faces!
After they explained what was in the nets, they kept a couple species (that were safe for the kids to examine up close) and put them in the touch tanks for the kids to touch and feel. Then they examined the microscopic particles of the ocean water. Hands on learning is so valuable and even I learned so much on this excursion.
The next morning we ate breakfast at Children’s Pool in La Jolla. We learned that this seawall was erected to create a safe place for children to wade and play in the water. However, over the years, more and more seals have inhabited the area and have had their pups on this beach. They even had the beach closed off when we were there because pups had been born the week prior. They said its still open to the public for swimming and wading but the seals have first priority and they do shut it down!