Snorkeling, Manatee Sighting, Plankton Identifying… Oh My!

March 17, 2016
March 17, 2016

Snorkeling, Manatee Sighting, Plankton Identifying… Oh My!

The Class of 2016 is enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime while in the Florida Everglades for their 8th Grade trip this week!

During their trip, the class is hard at work (or play?) snorkeling through mangroves and sea grass beds in the Everglades National Park, identifying marine life such as juvenile barracuda, sea stars, brittle stars, lettuce sea slugs, Cassiopeia jellyfish and various species of zooplankton, and studying their findings under microscopes in the Marine Lab.

8th graders describe what they’re up to in their own words on the “Grymes Goes Global” Blog (and posted below):

MarineLab Day 1

  We had the 6:30 flight out of Reagan National Airport, so we had to get up at about 2:00-2:30. We were exhausted.


The flight went well. Only one ticket was lost, but it was soon recovered. We landed at 9:30 and were on the road to MarineLab. We took a bus ride and arrived at MarineLab at 11:30. After orientation, we went to lunch. We then got our gear, after a brief interruption from a manatee.

We took a swim test (no one drowned), then went for our first snorkel. We snorkeled  for 45 minutes, then headed in to shower and have dinner. After eating we went to a rock/invertebrate lab, then an coral bleaching discussion. Finally, we got some sleep.

MarineLab Day 2

Day 2 started with an early breakfast and then we were off to snorkel and explore the mangroves and sea grass beds at Dana’s  Cove in the Everglades National Park. We found many juvenile barracuda, sea stars, brittle stars, lettuce sea slugs, Cassiopeia jellyfish and many others.


We had lunch and then went back out to the coral reef to explore Banana Reef and The Horseshoe Reef this afternoon. The weather was perfect and the water was an extraordinary turquoise blue! The highlights included very large barracuda, a nurse shark, blue tang, angel fish, and multiple species of parrot fish!

We got off the boat, took our allotted 5 minute showers, and had dinner. Our night lab consisted of plankton. We found many types of zooplankton under the microscopes- shrimp, jellyfish, crabs, copepods, fish eggs and fish larvae!


We then returned to the classroom to identify the fish we observed on the reef and their adaptations.

Off to bed we go! Lights out at 10:30 after another fun filled day!

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