As part of the seventh grade science curriculum, students at Saint Mary School visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium to understand the adaptations of marine animals to specific ecosystems. In the Discovery Lab, students had a hands-on experience with anthropoda (crabs), echinodermata (urchins), and mollusks (snails).
In the Aquarium, students explored different parts of the ocean including the Open Sea, Kelp Forest, Deep Reef, Rocky Shore, and Sandy Seashore habitats, and also watched two feedings. At the end of the Kelp Forest feeding, students had the unique opportunity to meet the diver, Chad King, parent of one of the students, and talk to him as he exited above the Kelp Forest tank. Giving the students an expanded Aquarium experience, he showed them his diving gear, educated them on diver safety precautions in the active marine habitat, and spoke with them at length to answer questions for their projects.
By the end of the day, students described their field trip as a “blast” observing marine life and learning about organisms that have adapted to different ecosystems.