[Warning: Picture-heavy post]
I have no knitting to show you today, because I was otherwise occupied yesterday.
Yesterday I chaperoned a third grade field trip, one of many such trips I've been on in my tenure as "Mom". I can't tell you how many times I've herded large groups of small children through the pumpkin patch, the zoo, and the aquarium. But this particular field trip was new to me, and so cool that I just had to share. (And of course, if it doesn't interest you, feel free to move on.)
There is a youth aquatic center on San Diego's Mission Bay which hosts a variety of kid-oriented activities. One of the organizations that uses the space is called "Sea Camp", which is devoted to educating kids about the ocean.
Our morning started with the Invertebrate Lab, where the kids learned all about invertebrates, like sponges and jelly fish. Here they are learning about flagella:
They're flagellating with their arms.
And here they are learning how jelly fish hunt:
I'm pretty sure this little girl won't forget:
But, of course, the best part is always playing with the animals:
The kids named this guy "SpongeBob":
This is a keyhole limpet:
This was my favorite:
It's called a sea hare, which appears to be code for "Giant Slimy Sea Booger."
In the Fish Lab, the kids examined frozen animals, like this lion fish:
They even got to pet a shark:
But Sea Camp's location lends itself to even more hands-on type learning. The kids get to go out into the bay and catch their own specimens. (Yes, that is how winter looks in San Diego. No, I'm not looking to adopt.)
The kids got all lined up neatly. The idea was that they would remain in a line and slowly shuffle along in the water, kicking up lots of little fish and other critters, which would be caught up in a large mesh net held by the camp counselors.
Unfortunately, despite the absolutely perfect, warm, sunny weather, the water was cold. Really cold. San Diego kids don't do cold. Chaos ensued.
Still, they did catch some interesting little fish, like this one:
The counselors explained that all of the fish in the Bay are little, because the Bay acts as a fish nursery. Once the fish get big enough, they leave the Bay and swim out to the open ocean.
Except for this one:
It didn't seem to swim well at all.