Oceanography Class Today

 We had the opportunity to check out an oceanography class/ lab today and my boys were so excited.  We had no idea what it would be like but we were hopeful that there would be some hands on components; well it did not disappoint!

We had a wonderful couple of hours exploring the estuary and the many things that live there.

We saw several varieties of seaweed, a few different species of crabs, some periwinkle crabs, lots of barnacles, shells, rocks, and all the other wonderful things you often find along the shore.

Alec took part in a water program and we learned how to test for salinity, Ph levels, checking oxygenation levels, and temperature of the water.

Learning about the area we were going to be exploring 


Looking for "treasures" 

Barnacles; Evan informed me that the ones that are "open" are where the animals inside the
barnacles have died and the other ones all have living creatures inside that were hiding from the sun
until the tide came back in.  He learned all that & more from watching Wild Kratts! 

Such a fun way to spend a warm sunny morning! 

Some of our treasures 

Checking out the banded striped legs on the Asian shore crab; learning about
invasive species and how they made it to our area (a little geography lesson!) 

Testing the water 

Comparing their vials with the kits' 
The second component of our lab today was indoors and all the kids got to go around and touch/ feel 10 different species of wildlife that live in the estuary.

They were asked to use identification cards to determine what they were looking at, figure out how it defends itself, what/ how it eats, how it moves and even if we were looking at a male or female.

We examined a horseshoe crab, channeled whelk, a broad clawed hermit crab, a summer flounder, hard shell clams (quahogs), a clean nose skate, some zooplankton under a microscope, some spider crabs, a striped sea robin & a lobster.

sea robin 
Checking out the skate 
Our teacher was amazing and went around from bin to bin talking to small groups of kids; showing them various features of each of the animals.

She often showed them how to tell if they were male/ female and encouraged them to touch the animals, pointing out various features and how to tell the various species apart from their look alike counterparts.

Looking to see if the spider crab was male or female (it was female)
hermit crab was a bit shy 
Talking to "new homeschoolers" about the flounder 
Learning how to tell the difference between male
and female horseshoe crabs 
checking out the two species of whelk 
It was a full class (and this was only 1/2!) 
Learning more about the horseshoe crab 
getting to see up close how to tell the difference between male and female lobsters 
It was AMAZING!!!

And it did not hurt that we spent the rest of the day hanging out at a lovely beach and playground enjoying all the wonderful sunshine and warm weather.

enjoying our lunch at the park 

They played, watched the boats, and dug in the sand.

Mostly we just visited with one another and enjoyed the weather. 


  1. Oh my God, I'm so jealous! We live NOWHERE near the sea, but just finished up our ocean theme for school. My daughter (and myself) would have loved this! (She learns a lot from Wild Kratts too. ;) )

    1. And here I was wishing we lived even closer so we could do this more often. It was such an amazing opportunity and my middle son started asking all kinds of questions about their week long summer camps, their classes, etc. I just could not justify driving him there every day for a week.... BUT at least we had the chance to try this class and for that we should be grateful!

  2. This is incredible! Very hands on indeed. I wish we have something like this over here. I'd also learnt a new word today: Oceanography. Thank you so much for linking up with us your wonderful post on #FabFridayPost

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I was so thrilled I got to sit in on the class with the boys; I learned so much myself.


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