Hood View Junior Academy Heads to the Coast

By Lauren Vizcarra, Hood View Junior Academy 8th Grader

In late October, the 7 and 8th grade class took a two-day field trip to learn more about the marine life we had been studying in science class. We left school in six cars and drove three hours to the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) in Newport, Ore. We took two classes: one about animal adaptations, and one where we dissected a squid. The teacher walked us through where and how to cut. As we studied the squid, our instructor named each part and explained its purpose. We were encouraged to ask questions, and many of us did. At the end, we opened up the squid’s ink pouch and used the “pen” (the part that provides support inside its body) to write our names. After class, we roamed the aquarium together and learned more about the aquatic wildlife.

Next, we checked into yurts at nearby Beverly Beach State Park. After the three-hour car trip and class time, we enjoyed being outdoors and playing Frisbee. After the sun set, we all gathered in the meeting yurt for a haystack dinner and spent the rest of the evening playing board games before heading down to the beach for a game of tag in the dark. Mr. Christiansen, our teacher, gave us glow-stick necklaces so we’d be able to see each other, and we all paired up with a buddy to make sure no one got lost. The person who was “it” carried a red light. It was tons of fun running and laughing on the beach in the dark with our classmates wearing glow sticks. We had worship before heading to our yurts.

The next day, we were up at seven for morning worship and breakfast before packing up and cleaning out the yurts. We took a last walk down to the beach for group pictures, then climbed back into the cars for a short drive to the Oregon Aquarium.

At the Oregon Aquarium, we were taken into a private classroom with a variety of sea animals in buckets of water on four tables. Again, we divided into our groups and sat down at the tables. There were cards on each table that gave us details about the animals. We spent a few minutes at each t able reading the cards and touching the animals. We learned about sea urchins, sea anemones, chitons and mussels. After class, we explored the aquarium. There were a lot more live animals to see than we had seen the day before. We saw sharks, sting rays, otters, seals and many types of fish. One group even got to operate a fish cam inside one of the displays. Using a joystick, they were able to move the camera around to follow fish and get an up-close look. The fish seemed to be used to the camera and weren't startled when it moved up next to them. We ended our trip with a few minutes in the gift shop before heading back to school, stopping for lunch on the way.