On Monday, June 11, 2018, Deer Park High School’s Life Skills class came back to the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center (MESC) for the second year in a row to take advantage of CSLI’s marine education opportunities. This year, the class was able to split up into two field trip sessions (half attended on Friday, June 8th) in order to offer the students even more hands-on learning. The day began with casting the seine net while wading into the harbor; students and teachers helped to catch fish, hermit crabs, and shrimp. The class even got to examine two horse shoe crabs in their natural habitat.
The team of marine educators led the students to the touch tanks outside of the MESC, where they were able to identify different species of fish and marine life, and touch and hold spider crabs, horseshoe crabs, and starfish! Then, they ventured inside to view the indoor tanks—home to a few pufferfish and other fish/crab species—watched an educational video about Mt. Sinai’s geography, and took turns experiencing the touch-screen underwater simulators and games.
After a brief break for lunch, the group took a stroll down the MESC’s nature walk not far from the picnic area. It was one of the most memorable nature walks to date—the students saw three deer and three rabbits, while guided in identifying some flower and berry species in full bloom.
Finally, the day was wrapped up by learning about oysters at the Shellfish Hatchery, and using the sorting machine to group oysters together according to their size. Before boarding the bus, there was a few minutes left to enjoy the beach, collect rocks and shells, and identify more marine life on the shore. The Deer Park class looks forward to their next annual MESC field trip, and CSLI is always open to adding more field trips to our calendar!
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