Students go to the New York Aquarium


Marine Biology and Animal Behavior students at the NY Aquarium

Olivia Meier, Staff Writer

Hawthorne High School’s Marine Biology and Animal Behavior students, along with teachers  Marissa Wentworth and Amy Miller, went on a field trip to the New York Aquarium, located in Brooklyn, New York, on April 11, 2014. Thanks to the hard work of Wentworth, the trip was fully funded by the Passaic County Community College’s (PCCC) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) program.

Due to the devastation that Superstorm Sandy left when it hit the east coast, parts of the aquarium were destroyed. However, in-between the rebuilding and remodeling of exhibits, there was still a variety of things for students to see and learn from. Tanks containing stingrays and various types of fish and eels were the first thing seen when stepping inside. Then, students got to walk outside and experience the outdoor exhibits of penguins, sea otters, and walruses. Even more enjoyable for students, during the early morning, they got to see several aquarium workers feed the walruses their breakfast.

Students also got to enjoy the Seal Lion Celebration at the Aquatheater. During this show, sea lion trainers had the animals do water tricks, clap their flippers together, stand on their front flippers as if doing a hand stand, and “bark” as they do to communicate to one another.

Students then attended an interactive lesson about fish. During this lesson with a staff member and scientist, the students learned about protection, hunting skills, and adaptation of certain fish. The presentation was very informative to all students of Marine Biology and Animal Behavior.

According to Wentworth, “This trip allowed the Marine Science and Animal Behavior students to observe animals that are discussed inclass throughout the year.  It helped them apply what they learned in class to real-life animals.  The trip also allowed the students to think about how the aftermath of severe storms, such as Superstorm Sandy, affect marine life both in aquariums and in the ocean.”

Wentworth worked hard to get the trip funded through PCCC’s S.T.E.M. program. This meant the students got to attend the trip at no cost to them. On top of funding the trip, the S.T.E.M. program also funded transportation for the students to and from the aquarium.

All the students who participated in this trip wrote thank you letters to the scientists at PCCC’s S.T.E.M. program for funding this fun and educational trip to the New York Aquarium.