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CGS Trip to the Aquarium

Sarah Goldsmith, Staff Writer

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The CGS freshmen took a field trip for their AP Environmental Science class to the Baltimore National Aquarium to learn more about aquatic animals and the environmental impact on them on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

“I think most students had a very good time,” science teacher Jennifer Pogue said. “I think it was successful to show a lot of the different organisms and habitats in which they live that are found in places on our planet. I think it helps students connect what they’re learning in a book to the real world. I think it gives students a new appreciation for just how intertwined our world is.”

The students saw a variety of animals such as birds, turtles, dolphins, sloths, monkeys, snakes, alligators, lizards, the skeleton of a whale, sea urchins, star fish, and other aquatic life. They also got to see people scuba diving in the shark tanks.

“I learned about where fish live,” freshman Halea Pitts said. “Oh my gosh, I loved seeing the little jellyfish, they were so cute. It just made me happy, it just made my day. I really liked the turtle that was missing one fin, Calypso, ‘cause I was like, why are you missing a fin and how are you still alive?”

Calypso is a 500-pound green sea turtle at the aquarium. She was found in 2000 in Long Island Sound when she was about 2 years old and weighing 6 pounds. She was cold-stunned, or suffering from turtle hypothermia, and had an infection in her front left leg which had to be amputated. Two years after that, weighing over 500 pounds, she was given to the aquarium and now lives happily in the Blacktip Reef exhibit.

“My favorite part’s always been the dolphins,” freshman Hunter Stokes said. “Yes, I would go there again.”

According to www.travel.usnews.com the Baltimore National Aquarium is #11 on top things to do in Baltimore. The aquarium’s goal is to spark the flame of conservation of sea life. They have over 17,000 animals with more than 750 types of aquatic life, birds, reptiles, and amphibians as well as exciting opportunities like sleepovers and hands-on experiences.

“I really enjoyed the whole petting of the animals in the fish tank,” freshman Dane DiEugenio said. “It was fun. A lot of the aquatic life in general was kind of interesting.”

The aquarium has a hands-on section where the students were able to touch crabs, stingrays, and moon jellyfish.

“Seeing the dolphins and hearing how they take care of the dolphins was actually really cool,” freshman Bri Wallace said.

The aquarium is home to five female dolphins; Jade, Spirit, Maya, Bayley, and Chesapeake, and two males; Beau and Foster. The large, clear tanks provide a wonderful vantage point from the auditorium during a demonstration as well as through the tanks next door. The aquarium also offers a very interesting show around 5 to 10 minutes long that teaches you about the dolphins who perform at the end.

“I think I was most interested by the sharks. They were really fascinating and the jellyfish because they were so crazy. It was cool to see all the animals like the jellyfish populations growing and how that affects the environment with turtles populations decreasing,” freshman Leda Hinkle said. “I think the field trip impacted me in that it made me more interested in anything marine biology type especially the dolphin show, just to see people working with dolphins and checking on them and their health.”

The aquarium also has a clean, comfortably heated cafe that provides delicious food with reasonable prices. A quarter-pound hamburger or cheeseburger with fries, a drink, chips, and dessert could be bought with less than $15. The cafe also has salads, fruit, hot dogs, chicken tenders and other courses.

“My favorite part was probably touching the jellyfish and stingrays,” freshman Jordan Bingham said. “I’ve always liked the interactive parts of museums or aquariums the most. Yes, I would go back to the Baltimore aquarium.”

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CGS Trip to the Aquarium