Revisiting childhood at the aquarium

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Juniors and seniors who took Marine Biology at Hillcrest this year had the opportunity to go an aquarium, similar to the way elementary school students visit aquariums on field trips today.

Alexander Mettler, the Marine Biology teacher, explained Marine Biology as students “be[ing] responsible for learning about the ecology, zoology, botany, and environmental issues of our oceans [… and] expected to handle and dissect real specimens.”

Seventy-five of the 120 Marine Biology students went out on a field trip to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah on April 24.

Mettler stated, “It is a fantastic aquarium and it gives my students a chance to actually see and even touch a lot of the organisms we study in class.”

Some of the species present at the aquarium included stingrays, giant sharks, sloths, otters, and even a large Amazonian fish.

Mettler explained that while at the aquarium, “Although the Aquarium offered special classes for schools, we just did a self-guided tour. The staff there were stationed throughout to answer questions and I also zoomed around, checking in with students to help explain and answer questions.”

In order to be able to enter the aquarium, students had to pay a $5 admission fee, which is much lower than the usual $20 to enter.

Mettler stated, “We live so far from the actual ocean and many of my students have yet to visit the ocean. [This field trip] gives students a chance to actually see, touch, and even smell a lot of the amazing marine creatures we learn about through the semester.”

Mettler added, “Marine biology is a great class because most people enjoy learning about and celebrating the biodiversity of the ocean. There are so many amazing organisms to learn about and we get to learn about them through hands-on labs/dissections, interesting news articles, and stunning videos.”

Arena Scheduling will open on May 20, so any students that want to sign up for Marine Biology but have not done so need to apply during the short window that Arena Scheduling is open.

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