Saturday, June 13, 2015

Marine Science Institute Visit - real life , hands on learning

Sometime back on May 27th we had attended the two station program in the MSI? I had arranged this field trip with fellow Hsers. While the whole arranging the trip was quite frustrating with constantly looking for people to join to reduce the per head cost and then remainders for payment etc etc...the field trip itself was very educational and fun. Myself and Chellu had attended Kayla's birthday party there and really loved it. I was feeling so guilty for Kunju missing out on it since she was sick that day and decided to arrange a field trip to make it up for it.
While Chellu seemed a little bored cause everything was sort of a repetition for her, Kunju while initially resisting it eventually started to delve in it and enjoy it as well.
What a lovely idea ! The kids did a two station program - the beach seine station  and the fish/ shark station. To kick it off, the docents introduced the idea of a bay, what it means to the kids.
In the beach seine station, they got to use a seine to catch fish from the bay and hold it in their hands and examine it . Eventually the fishes are returned back to the bay. It was tons of fun for them. While elder caught a Topsmelt Silverside, younger caught a jelly fish. Some of the other children caught bigger fishes , crabs and even snails. I never knew before that snails lived in areas like the bay!
In the fish station they went around and examined many different types of fishes like Diamond Tubot, Yellowfin agony, Topsmelt Silverside , Bay Pipefish, Northern Anchovy to name a few ..they also were introduced in detail the body structure of a fish.
The shark station was super fun. The kids got to watch baby leopard sharks in a tank while being told about the fishes. They also got to touch it. At the end they sat in a small circle where each got to examine variety of shark bones and jaws. We learnt that sharks have 1000s of teeth and replace the, throughout their life unlike humans! What fun!
At the very end the kids were introduced to a marine food chain through a puppet show. The importance of conservation and marine care was emphasised.
Wow! What a day. So much learning for all of us. I love the Bay Area for this - the amount of learning opportunities for kids outside the school is enormous. It's indeed a Hsers's paradise! Very grateful to be able to experience this.

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