Surfspiration

It’s Declaration Week at Brightworks, and while students started brainstorming ideas for their expression projects, we sought out inspiration on surfboards!

Ambigo after an epic day of surfing!

Fortunately for us, Brightworks is just a 20 minute drive to Linda Mar Beach, a perfect spot for any newbie surfer to feel the power of the waves. Most of the group had never been swimming in the Pacific Ocean before, and for many this was their first time surfing. We worked with experienced surfers to learn the basics: protect your head, keep your eyes on the waves, and fall flat.

We lucked out with some pretty perfect conditions, and everyone was able to catch a wave or two. Most of us boogied in, and a few even managed to pop up on their boards.

Everyone found a way to move with the water—on surf boards, boogie boards, and simply body surfing.

Khalia was ready to catch some waves after a one-on-one lesson with Sean.

Owen and Rhone are all smiles after spending the day on the water.

Elijah rolling in with the waves.

Anthony and Amparo grilling up tasty treats.

After a long day of surfing it was great to grill out!

How did we move with the water, and why? Back at school the group took some time to reflect on the time we spent surfing. Many realized how important it was to work with the water, rather than to fight against it. We also discussed the salinity of our blood, and compared that to the salinity of the ocean. We noticed how easy it was to float in our wetsuits, and some talked about regulating their buoyancy with their breath (like the submarines we designed a few weeks ago). The trip was a great way for us to reconnect with the sea before submitting declarations for approval, and diving into our expression projects!

BWXRed by-sea

Welcome to the by-sea arc explorations of the Red Band. We started our journey traversing the seas by submarine. The kids and I took on the task of creating bottle submarines that would dive and surface. Our initial problem was to sink a plastic bottle using coins, straws, binder clips, balloons, and tape which the kids tested in our sink or float tub.

Quinn and Abir worked together to sink their bottle by filling it with coins, paper, and water.

Applying what we learned from these tests, the kids set forth to sink their bottles which proved harder than we thought. Once the kids reflected on their work they found attaching heavy items to the bottles was not enough to counter the buoyancy of the bottle, rather filling the bottles with water was the most successful route. Employing what we learned about submarines and their ability to dive and surface, we set to work with our same materials to create our own ballast tanks. The final solution was to attach straws and cut out hole to encourage the bottle to fill and release water! Success!

Khalilah cuts out two holes in her submarine

To celebrate our  hard work Red and Yellow traveled across town to visit the U.S.S. Pampanito at Pier 45.

Onboard the U.S.S. Pampanito

During our journal reflection the kids shared that being on the water was not their favorite experience so we have set sail on our own virtual boat trip. Two weeks ago we packed up our stuffies, clothes, money, toothbrushes, food, and sleeping bags and set sail from San Francisco to Panama City. It was all smooth sailing until we hit a storm off of the coast of Guatemala that snapped some of our lines leaving us with just one sail.

Abir tracks our course up to the unavoidable storm!

Luckily we reached our final destination and were able to get our ship repaired and set sail through the Panama Canal to Haiti where we came eye to eye with a tsunami, yikes! Our quick-thinking crew quickly turned us round and set course toward Puerto Rico with our Uniform flag hoisted to let other ships know they were heading into danger.

Sylvester, Abir, and Quinn review the international code flags to determine which message we should send to other ships.

Make sure you’re following along #brightworksbeehive to see where our next adventure takes us or to watch tugboat and crow’s nest come to life.

But does it float?

The Amber Band has been taking a closer look at how water works. This week we visited the Marine Mammal Center, played around on Rodeo Beach, and took buoyancy experiments to the next level. All of these explorations gave us a chance to learn more about the physics and chemistry of water, in an attempt to better understand our relationship to it.

We kicked off the first day back from spring break at the beautiful Marine Mammal Center.

We got a chance to see how marine biologists conduct blood tests to learn about the health of the marine life they rescue, and some of the techniques they use to help prepare marine life to go back out into the wild.

After our visit to the Marine Mammal Center, we hiked down to Rodeo Beach for a picnic. We decided to spend the afternoon playing around on the beach. There were tide pools, watery caves, drift wood, and so much more for us to get up close and explore. We took the opportunity to reflect on this spectacular day with a few minutes of mindfulness. Students noticed all the colors in a handful of sand, the warmth of the sun, the sound of the waves, and the smell of salt in the air.

We found some tide pools at Rodeo Beach.

Having lunch on the side of a sea cliff.

Cartwheels on the beach are the best!

We found a jellyfish that had washed ashore.

There’s a whole world in a handful of sand!

Rhone found a small dead fish that had washed ashore too.

Back at Brightworks, we continued playing around in La Petit Mer (the epic test pool built by Indigo Band) to understand buoyancy and density. What do we need to know about density to be able to move through water? We started by designing and building a vessel that could maintain a neutral state of water (does not sink, does not float) while containing cargo weight of 50 grams or more. Once they figured that out, students began pushing those limits by finding ways to move their vessel forward, backward, up, and down—all without using their hands.

Measuring the mass and volume of our vessels to calculate their density.

How do you measure the volume of an oddly shaped object? Water displacement! Phillip showed Ambigo how to measure the water displacement of their vessels in a graduated cylinder to find the volume.

Clem and Audrey experimented with ways to make their submarines “breathe” to control when it floats and when it sinks.

Next week we’ll begin building our very own boat! Ambigo has decided to tackle a seemingly impossible mission by building a boat that will safely carry us to Angel Island. We begin building next week, and hope to have something ready to test in the bay by the following Friday. Before that though, we’ll get a chance to learn more about navigating in the water and “reading the water” on a surfing trip in Linda Mar.

MagAmberGo Overnight on the USS Pampanito

Magenta, Amber, and Indigo (MagAmberGo) spent 17 hours on a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine, the USS Pampanito, to get up close to WWII submarine technology. We built batteries, practiced active sonar listening, simulated buoyancy, made periscopes, and deciphered patrol orders to plot our course.  After our tasks, we had dinner as a crew, and took turns on night watch. The next morning, the group reflected on their stay to consider if they could make it the full 75 days that most submariners would have been asked to do.

If you were asked to stay on the USS Pampanito for 75 days, would you?

“Yeah. I mean, because it’s a submarine, and it’s awesome. I’d rather go jump out of an airplane in the airborne, but I could do it. If it was a more modern submarine I could do it.”—Declan

“I would jump off. Sleep would be the hardest part, especially if there’s snoring.”—Khalia

“I would not because it is so hard to sleep. The beds are super uncomfortable, like plastic.”—Norabelle

“Absolutely not. I hate being on the water for more than five days. The beds were super uncomfortable.”—Elijah

“No. Because they don’t shower, it’s really small, we all have to sleep together in the same room, really cramped together. If I were the captain maybe I would be able to do it.”—Ella

 

“No, I wouldn’t want to be cut off from the world for 75 days at a time. If I were on the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, that would be cool. There’s a library and a museum! Nemo’s got a whole room to himself on the Nautilus.”—Audrey

“No way. I felt seasick the whole time.”—Felix

“If it was out, attached to ropes, and there were other people out there with me, then I would do it. I would not want to be submerged though.”—Rhone

“I think it would be fun. No war, but I could do it for a long time. I really like confined spaces.”—Oscar

“Well, I don’t know, it depends on if we were going to be at war with a lot of other ships or if we were just going to be patrolling another area to observe another enemy. I don’t think I would want to be engaged in combat because we could potentially die. If we were just there observing the area, or just defending our area then, yeah, I think I would in that situation.”—Morgan

“I wouldn’t do it on an old submarine. I would want a new one that is less sketchy, and probably work better. The Pampanito doesn’t work anymore. I hate airplanes, but for some reason it doesn’t scare me to go under water.”—Dash

“No. I almost didn’t do this trip because I have a big fear of submarines. Well, I kind of just wanted to see how I felt on a submarine because I had never been on one, but just whenever I think about them it kind of freaks me out. During the audio tour I was kind of feeling claustrophobic. Then once we got our bunks I was really freaking out because I was on the floor, but I was able to trade it up to a higher bunk. I don’t ever want to see a submarine again.” —Clem

“I wouuuld, but it would depend on how much I got paid. I would probably do it, as long as the crew didn’t snore. I would do it if I got paid a reasonable wage, and I could sleep.”—Kaia

“Nope, I feel like I would be extremely stressed. This is a really unfamiliar space, and I don’t have a good time with that.”—Corin

“If I were 18, during the Great Depression, then yes. Because money. It’s the Great Depression, and I’m 18. There aren’t a lot of jobs. Lack of space and sunlight would be difficult.”—Aidan

“I don’t think any amount of money could convince me to spend a prolonged period of time on there. I think just lack of sunlight, being in a confined space, all of that would be so draining emotionally, I don’t think it would be worth it.”—Zoe

“I feel like possibly if I was, let’s say, in college, and I had nowhere to live. Having free rent would be nice. Especially since Pampanito, or a ship similar size to that, is much larger than most apartments people have in California.”—Max Mayman

“I would not stay on any boat for 75 days. Maybe a kayak, and if I was able to get off to go camping. I would not be on a boat for 75 days straight.”—Liem

 

“You’re pretty much in a black box. The lives on board are either resting in your hands or someone else’s hands. We have a ¼ chance of dying out here. That’s awful! That’s something I don’t want to risk.”—Josh

“I probably wouldn’t, but it wouldn’t be a nightmare. Of course, that’s assuming that there’s no chance of death, no war.”—Cory

“Yes, I made my mind up a long time ago that I was going to do some stint in the armed services. Once Trump got elected I also said to myself that I’m not going to enlist until he’s out of office because I don’t want to fight a war that we have no business fighting. Under the right leadership I would. Also, there is a part of me that is drawn to small confined spaces on long voyages. We took a lot of long car trips in a very small car as a family. I think it partially originates from that. I’ve always had thoughts about building a small boat and sailing it around the world.”—Jack

 

In the By Sea Percolators

The Orange Band has had the luxury of so many by-sea experiences during Exploration. While there are still a few trips and outings left in the weeks after Spring Break, we took some time this week to read about the aquatic topics that the kiddos found interesting and intriguing. Enjoy the Orange Band’s recent research!


Coral Reef Damage

By Amiya

Record temperatures in 2015 and 2016 have caused significant damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is the biggest living organism in the world and can be seen from outer space. The reef stretches 1,400 miles off the coast of Queensland, in the Coral Sea. Coral are typically brightly colored, but when water temperatures get too hot, they become white. This is called bleaching, and it occurs when coral get rid of the algae which they use for food.

Bleached coral are more likely to get diseases, and they can take multiple decades to recover from bleaching. The Great Barrier reef has experienced significant bleaching before, in 1998 and 2002, but it only affected about 60 percent of the reef during both of those incidents. Currently, 90 percent of the reef is affected, and it is still experiencing bleaching in 2017.

Terry Hughes is a scientist in Australia. He helped to lead a study which showed the effect of global warming on coral. He has been observing, from above and underwater, the Great Barrier Reef’s bleaching. As summer comes to an end in the southern hemisphere, Hughes is hoping that the weather cools down in the next few weeks, and that it won’t be as warm next summer. “It broke my heart to see so many corals dying on northern reefs on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016,” he said. The world’s nations met in Paris in 2015 to discuss climate change, and they have agreed to try to limit the average warming to 3.6 degrees fahrenheit per year.


Polar Bear Research

By Lucy

Did you know that Polar bears are going into villages in Alaska to look for food? According to an article, Melting sea ice brings polar bears and humans closer together, the reason is the sea ice polar bears hunt on is staying melted for longer, so they are going to villages and getting into their food supply.

As the article states, “the more humans and bears interact, the greater chance there is that someone or some bear will get hurt.” For example if a human came to close to the polar bear and the polar bear felt threatened they might attack. Or if a polar bear came on to a person’s property or near their house people might try to scare the polar bear away or get rid of them and end up hurting the bear in the process.

Native Alaskans have ice cellars that they have been using for over 100 years to store whale meat called  muktuk. But recently polar bears have been getting into them and eating their food supply. A nonprofit group called Defenders of Wildlife gave the Alaskans special stainless steel food containers and so far they have been successful, but polar bears are still lingering longer than usual.

The sea ice is melting faster because of our use of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, as well as deforestation. Not only does this affect the polar bears but it affects us too. I think we should avoid using these as much because it is endangering many species including humans. Not just because of global warming but as I stated before it is causing animals and humans to come closer together and the outcome is not always good.       


What dolphins have been going through since humans started paying attention to them

By: Charlotte Jewell

Getting close to dolphins was a bad thing, but feeding them is a bigger problem than we think! The core of the problem was (and still is!) is tourists. Tourists probably don’t know or if they do know, they don’t care don’t care.

First of all feeding them is a federal offense, it can also change the dolphins behavior. Feeding them tells them that they can go close to boats, it also shows their offspring to beg instead of hunting. According to Amber Kuehn, who works for the Coastal Discovery Museum and also leads dolphin research excursions, “Dolphins don’t taste their food,They swallow it whole; they’re lazy like people are.” Dolphins are creatures that eat live food, they don’t usually eat canned food, like sardines. They usually eat herring or mackerel, without human bacteria on it. According to a Kuehn, “Fish are their source of fresh water so dolphins that eat human food can become dehydrated and eventually die.”

Dolphins may seem cute and cuddly but their have been several incidents where people have gotten hurt just by trying to feed dolphins! According to Wayne Mcfee, research wildlife biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Charleston, “We’ve had numerous instances of people being bitten by them, and these animals have anywhere from 80 to 100 sharp, conical teeth.” Another problem is Sea World in San Diego. Sea World has been basically  torturing dolphins and other sea life! Humans have pretty much taken over the world. seriously. Dolphins are related to humans, why should we torture them when we don’t like being tortured! Dolphins have their own life! We shouldn’t disturb their lives! They are living creatures!!!


DEAD SEA

By Roman Stadler

Some of the most important texts in history are the dead sea scrolls. Some goat herders found a cave in the desert called Judean in Israel. There were some teenagers who found bottles sorted into rows and that had some text in it. The text had a series of paper the jars that the found it in. According to the Washington Post, they were so old that some of the writing was not there and disintegrated. “They found the oldest writing known to humans.” The Arab explorers found the 12th scroll and it was written in hebrew and a few were written in greek and Aramaic.

The scrolls were 2,000 years old. Some of the scrolls were broken up into small bits and even though they were small the can be sold for a lot of money. People found the scrolls with some of the torah in it and the Ten Commandments. The torah is a scroll in judaism and it is all in Hebrew. It is the book that Jewish people read on shabbat.  And also one of the most important archeological discoveries of the 20th centuries.   In 60 years we’ll have a new first cave. Some of the caves had arrowheads and knives and different artifacts in the caves. Israel antiquities authorities told the archaeologists to go to the Qumran cave and protect the scrolls from the looters. It is a race as more looters are looking for more pieces of the paper. According to the Washington Post, “Finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered.”


What causes the tide in the ocean

By Jeevan

Tides happen when the moon’s gravitational pull pulls up the water onto the shore. Why does the tide come and go?  When the earth rotates the moon’s gravitational pull pulls on part of the earth then when the earth rotates it pulls on the other part of the earth. Are the tide’s the same everywhere? No if the earth was perfectly round and all water  the tides would be the same.
There is still a lot to learn about tides.   


Greeks By Sea

By Phoebe

“Poseidon at Sea”

Hello, have you ever wondered about Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea? Poseidon has two brothers, Zeus and Hades. Zeus rules the sky while Hades rules the underworld, and Poseidon rules the sea.

Poseidon’s symbols of power are  the trident and the horse. He married a  nayade, a girl whose life source depends on the ocean named Ameritrade. Poseidon is the second most powerful Greek god. The Greeks believed that to cross the Mediterranean, a sea in the Greek area, you would need to make a sacrifice to Poseidon unless you wanted for your boat  to sink and you to drown. Poseidon liked white bulls most of all. The Greeks also believed that Poseidon could make earthquakes  with his trident.  This is very common for Greek gods to act selfish and picky. As the article, Myths and Legends, explains, “Like the sea he can be calm and quiet at times, and then raging and violent.” This basically sums up Poseidon’s  natcher.

Poseidon is said to have an army of cyclopes and a war chariot pulled by hippocampi, fish tailed horses.  Once, Olympus was attacked by giants and Poseidon fought and killed a giant named Polybotes.  Poseidon can be helpful like when he helped Zeus send the evil Titan lord Kronos  to Tartarus. Poseidon does not enjoy the company of his brother, Zeus. One time he, Athena, and Hera wanted to take over and make the Olympian council to make fair.   These three Greek gods had the idea of not just Zeus ruling but all the Olympian gods ruling with equal power. In the end they were not successful. Poseidon wanted everything to be fair but being the second most powerful Greek god  he did not always get fair. Now that you see that Poseidon is fantastic you should make a sacrifice to Poseidon next time you go on the water.


Animals in Strange Places

By Justin

Several million years ago the Isthmus of Panama (a thin strip of land in between North America and South America) formed causing the Great American Biotic Interchange, when land animals could cross from North America to South America.

The Isthmus of Panama

Some experts think something similar is happening in the arctic. A team of experts led by Seabird Mckinnon wrote a paper that explores what they call faunal exchange. Faunal exchange is when animals from multiple different places are able to travel to other places and become invasive species. The paper looks at the increase of animals found in the wrong ocean recently and says that the reason for this is global warming in the arctic. Is says that normally animals can’t swim through the arctic because of sea ice. This is the same for birds, except they can fly over the ice, but the paper says that because of the sea ice, they can’t dive for food. But the paper says that global warming is melting the sea ice, making paths for animals to follow. This could have dramatic effects to the environment including changes to the food chain.

But some people don’t like the paper. “Some people might feel that this paper is not loaded down with evidence – they’re basically talking about 10 or 20 species that have been seen out of their geographic range – but they make a good point,” said Larry Crowder, science director for Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions. (He was not involved with the paper). “If there hasn’t been a gray whale in the Atlantic in 200 years and now there is one, that’s a change,” hHe added. Kristin Laidre, a principal scientist at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center said that the ideas in the paper aren’t new to the scientific community. “I think in the kind of ecological studies that consider the consequences of ice loss, the idea that species in the Pacific may become more connected with species in the Atlantic [or vice versa] isn’t really a new idea.” Kristin Laidre was the head author of a paper that was about arctic marine mammals and how they are dealing with climate change. The paper also realizes the likelihood that arctic animals will move towards oceans that they aren’t supposed to be in. A good number of the animals mentioned in Kristin Laidre paper are also mentioned in Seabird Mckinnon’s paper. Pacific auks and Atlantic northern gannets have both been spotted in the wrong ocean along with a gray whale spotted off the coast of Israel. These sightings have increased in recent years, and I am looking forward to see what would happen if polar bears showed up in New York for example. I want to see if they would change color or not, and if they would all be put in the zoo.

Casting Off

Cardboard Boats

Today saw the fruition of an ambitious project! The blue band went to Stow Lake to test the boats they built from cardboard and plastic.  The beauty of this project is that even though both boats ended up as piles of card board slush, everyone came out of the experience feeling like they had done something great.

Cardboard Boats

My goal as an educator isn’t to prepare the next generation of boat builders but rather to foster the skills that will help these kids turn their aspirations into reality.  In this project we were breaking down and reflecting on the qualities of good teamwork and leadership.

 

Cardboard Boats

We started this project with a couple of team building challenges.  The blue band had to work together to crack the code of this matrix.  They discovered that the missteps they made were important information.  They had to work together to track and convey the proper order of steps to unlock the puzzle. In another team building challenge the students had to stand in a tight circle and pick up pieces of paper far out of their reach.  They discovered that to be successful they had to physically counter balance each other and use their words to communicate.

Untitled

Referencing these challenges the group built a rubric of qualities that makes up good team work.  Here is the list they came up with:

  • Communicate in a clear and kind way.
  • Listen and snap ideas together.
  • Care for each other when we make mistakes because they are important parts of learning.
  • Appreciate other people’s strengths instead of focusing on what they aren’t doing.
  • Be helpful and focused.

Untitled

Because we were working in a new medium with a dangerous tool, we sat down with a cardboard master, our very own Willow.  He gave the students techniques to cut cardboard safely and effectively with a box cutter.  Thus prepared, the blue band was split into teams and got started sketching and modeling their ideas.

Cardboard Boats

After a day of creating models the teams came together snap together their separate ideas.  First they looked for similarities in their designs and then they figured out what other features they should include.  This process of turning individual ideas into a collective vision is really difficult and requires a high level of communication, flexibility and good will.  I was impressed by the way both teams built upon each other’s ideas

Cardboard Boats

When the teams had settled on designs they got to work cutting and taping together their boats!  A mantra for those easily distracted was, “How can I help?”  For those who were trying on leadership roles, they practiced seeing people’s strengths and passions and finding jobs that leveraged those strengths.

Cardboard Boats

Ronan and Isaac applied the laws of buoyancy that we’d been discovering in order to calculate how much weight their boats could safely carry.  They calculated the volume of their boats and figured out the weight of the water it would displace.  They predicted that both of the boats would be able to carry over a thousand pounds of weight.  Theoretically, these boats could carry a couple of 9 and 10 year olds with no problem.

Cardboard Boats

Their final step was to wrap their boats in plastic to protect the cardboard from turning to slush.

Cardboard Boats

Despite the mathematical modeling that predicted the boats could carry thousands of pounds, everyone was dubious of these boat’s ability to actually float.  Before leaving for Stow Lake almost everyone predicted disaster.  The boat will flip over, the walls will cave in, they will sink!

Cardboard Boats

Because the kids had envisioned all the ways that these boats would fail, the moment when Soleil and Sadie stepped into their boat for the first time was met with shrieks of delighted disbelief.  As they pushed off into the lush green waters of Stow Lake the crowd of on lookers accumulating on the banks cheered.

The second boat was just as much a success.

Cardboard Boats

As Gita and Lily glided out onto the lake passerby’s stopped to ask the kids left on the bank what the heck was going on.  What kind of strange and amazing school is this that sends students out in homemade cardboard boats!

It was a beautiful day to paddle on the lake.

Cardboard Boats

After 15 minutes or so of leisurely paddling both boats started to take on water from tears in the plastic.  Sadie and Soleil were able to paddle back to the bank before they had taken on too much water.

Cardboard Boats

Lily and Gita, however, got stuck in some trees and weren’t able to paddle back to shore.  I had to make a rescue on my surfboard!

Cardboard Boats

Whether they felt upset or exhilarated by their experiences in the sinking boats, the sailors and their teams met the challenge with bravery and compassion.  Later, having changed into dry clothes, the band gathered over hot cocoa to appreciate each other for the contributions they made to this ambitious project.  They reflected on the part they played in their group and ways they would like to grow as a team member.  A toast to the blue band who met with challenges and didn’t lose sight of the most important thing: each other!

Cardboard Boats

 

 

 

Sailing, Squid, and Monterey Bay

The Teal and Violet Bands have been sailing full steam ahead (wow, the number of water-related puns are unbelievable) these past two weeks. We have dedicated ourselves to studying sailing and beginning to explore marine biology.

In preparation for our sailing trip on the Bay, we spent a day with the crew at The San Francisco Sailing Club. They taught use how to tie a number of important sailor’s knots, including the bowline and figure eight. By the end of the lesson, there were a number of the kids tying the bowline with their eyes closed or even behind their backs.

A lesson on knots and sailing from the crew at The San Francisco Sailing Club.

Learning to tie bowline knots.

They explored the parts of a sailboat and the number of different sailboats there are, based on the number of masts, placement of masts, and sails. Since sailboats rely on the wind to move them forward, it is important to understand the placement of the sails in relation to the wind and the intended direction of the boat. To learn this, the crew taught the bands about points of sail.

As a sailboat relies on wind, a sailor most know the points of sail.

Following our field trip to the sailing club, the bands worked in groups to expand their understanding of the points of sail. Each group was tasked with making a simple 3D interactive model, made mainly out of cardboard, that would allow the user to position both the boat and sails depending on the wind and intended direction of the boat. It’s pretty incredible to figure out how you can use the wind to sail almost into it, but they’ll tell you, not directly, we don’t want flags for sails.

Creating models to teach the points of sail.

Points of sail models act as interactive teaching tools.

To begin our exploration into marine biology and in preparation for our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we took a dive (yet another water pun) into the lives of those of the phylum Mollusca, specifically squid. We explored what traits all mollusks share and explored the main classes of mollusks before focusing on the anatomy of squid. We discussed adaptations (chromatophores – skin coloring) and methods of movement (jet propulsion using a siphon.)

Exploring the phylum Mollusca, specifically squid.

Feeling a bit creative, the Teal and Violet bands painted their own giant squid. Hopefully soon, we’ll have an entire sea of creatures swimming over the dining room.

Fingerpainting our own squid.

We spent Monday morning getting our hands dirty (and a bit stinky) dissecting squid. We explored the exterior and interior anatomy, locating a number of parts including the gills, beak, gonad (yup, we could differentiate the females and the males,) ink sac and pen. It was pretty incredible to dissect the eyes as well, locating and removing the spherical lens. Squid dissections are pretty exciting because they also end with a delicious treat, friend calamari. The entire school was excited to enjoy it with us.

Exploring the interior anatomy of squid.

Bonus treat from squid dissection: fried calamari.

On Tuesday, we journeyed down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a lesson on the adaptations of a number of invertebrates that live amongst the waves. They looked at how the sand star and urchin have adapted to protect themselves in coastal areas, regularly beaten by waves, using small suction feet. They also explored how organisms such as sand crabs and anemones use the movement of the waves to their benefit of acquiring food. After our class, we got to take in all the incredible exhibits at the aquarium. Make sure to read to the bottom for a view of my favorite.

Exploring the adaptations of the sea life that live and thrive among the waves.

On Thursday, we got out on the water with the San Francisco Sailing Company. We all piled onto the 28′ Santa Maria and set sail for the Golden Gate (unfortunately, the fog kept us from making it all the way to the bridge.) As we navigated the waters, the crew would regularly quiz the bands on our point of sail. It was truly impressive how many of them really understood the concept. During our trip, we came across a square sail replica tall ship, rode the quake of a number of larger boats, and traveled under the Bay Bridge.

Sailing with the San Francisco Sailing Company.

And I shall leave you with the reason I love visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium…the jellyfish.