By Ryan Herron
Ms. Wheeler took her three AP Environmental Science classes to the LA Harbor and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on the morning of Tuesday, October 27. The students had the opportunity to see first hand places that they have been learning about.
Ms. Wheeler planned the field trip for her students so that they could “actually see all the biodiversity that surrounds us. At the harbor, I wanted for the students to see the massive amounts of products that come into our ports on a daily basis.”
The classes left in two school buses from LCHS in route to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. After a grueling 2-hour bus ride on surface streets from La Cañada to San Pedro, the eager students arrived ready to release their energy.
First stop: the tide pools. The group of roughly 90 students made the trek along the shoreline to a specific coastal spot. Unfortunately, due to the moon’s location at the time, the tides were not in the favor of the APES classes. The high tide covered the tide pools; however, the students had an opportunity to glimpse the magnificence of nature’s power as they watched the roaring waves smash down on the rocky beach.
Next stop: a restored wetland. In Ms. Wheeler’s APES classes, she has been teaching the students the importance of wetlands due to their high productivity and importance for maintaining biodiversity. At this restored wetland, the students had a first hand experience on how a wetland looks in reality rather than merely out of a textbook.
After exploring the boundaries of the wetland, the classes headed over to the Cabrillo Aquarium. In the aquarium, they split off into groups of 10 with an aquarium instructor assigned to each group. The APES students had the ideal experience with the exhibits as they toured the entirety of the museum at a time when no other visitors were allowed in.
Biodiversity, pollution, and several endangered species were only a few of the topics covered within the aquarium. The students loved the experience and felt they were able to gain a deeper understanding on the topics that were being taught in class.
Senior Jack Jones described his experience, saying, “I found it really interesting to walk around the aquarium. The people that acted as our tour guides were incredibly kind and had a true passion for marine life.”
The last stop for the students was the LA Harbor. Acting as one of the largest ports in the world, the LA Harbor, also known as the Port of Long Beach, gave the students an up close and personal look on our nation’s port systems. The students saw a large portion of the port on a 1-hour boat tour.
Katie Engler, a senior APES student, found the boat tour to be “eye opening. It was really interesting to learn about the LA port. Everything we learned about the port is valuable information considering we live 45 minutes away from it.”
The field trip was a success in the students’ minds as it gave them a real life experience of what they were learning in their textbooks.
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