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Sunday, February 19, 2012

BJ's Field Trip to the Marine Science Institute

Last week, I was a driver for BJ's field trip to the Marine Science Institute. Best field trip I've been on so far -- and I think BJ thought so too! There were lots of hands-on activities. The kids started off with seine fishing, hauling a net out of the bay. Hard work!

The parents stepped in to help about halfway through (I suspect the class photographer got a shot or two of me hauling my fair share). According to the two young women who were running the field trip, we caught the largest top smelt they've ever seen! (But maybe they say that to all the kids.) After the catch, they had the kids transfer the creatures to buckets of water so they could get a closer look. Here's BJ examining that top smelt. It was almost a foot long!
Checking out another bucket with ocean wildlife:

At that point, alas, the batteries on my camera ran out. So I missed pictures of petting the leopard sharks (!) and sifting through the mud they scooped out from the bottom of the bay. Also missed the pic of when they invited the kids to join the "Mud Club" (which BJ didn't want to do) complete with marking mud on nose and chin and cheeks. Very entertaining for most of the kids. (Looking forward to seeing what our class photographer got, though!)

Memorable moment of the day: they were asking kids to identify creatures they'd found in the mud, and our leader held up an example. "What's this little one?" she asked. BJ exclaimed, "A bivalve!" She choked back a chuckle and said, "Wow! That's absolutely right! It is a bivalve. A bivalve called a clam." She'd clearly thought somebody would just say, "a clam." Later, when I thanking her for the great experience of the field trip, she asked which kid was mine. I pointed to BJ and she laughed, "Oh! The bivalve guy! That's awesome!"

Turns out they do science camps here during the summer, so we're considering doing that with BJ. Will involve driving up during rush hour, so I'm not entirely sure if we're up for it, but we'll see. I am sure he'd love it!

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