Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter in San Diego, Field Trip Edition

[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.


Anonymous said...

that looks like it was a lot of fun. I love to learn about the ocean! And *darn* I was really hoping you were looking to adopt!!! ;o)

Anonymous said...

School field trips can be a lot of fun. That looks like it was a good one!

Anonymous said...

I'll overlook the shorts and tank tops to say how fun that looked! We don't have any big aquarium near by .... but we do have miles of rocky ocean shore to explore! We have ocean identifying books galore, and winter storms do bring wonderful specimens to the beach.

marit said...

What a great day! Thanks for sharing. The kids do a lot of exploring at the seashore, we're lucky to have it so close.

At Home Mommy Knits said...

What a great field trip! My kids would love it.

Lydee said...

LOL! LOL! Good post! poor cold kids! that pic cracked me up!

Lisa said...

That sounds like a great field trip! I go on many with our Scout troops/packs in town and it's always a blast watching the kids put things together in their minds.

Kelli said...

Looks like a way-cool trip. I love "classrooms" with no walls...Yeah for experiential learning. ~ksp

Maureen said...

Looks like a lot of fun!!

Anonymous said...

You're killing me here! I was just down there and yes, that is exactly what San Diego looks like. Why, why don't I live there??? I am seriously considering it. Things are back on with Mister San Diego......!!!

Kim said...

Too freaking cool! I am way jealous. BTW, I think I might change my first name to Flagella.

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