GATE 8th Graders Swim With Plankton

By Amanda M.

The Eighth Graders’ GATE Trip To CIMI went from  Friday, February 1st to Sunday, February 3rd and they stayed at CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute) at Toyon Bay. On the island, they studied marine life and oceanography.

“I learned that some types of plankton can only bio-illuminate once every twenty-four hours,” said Eighth Grader Georgia B., “and some animals have a hydro-static skeleton, and their skeleton is made out of water.”

Students not only learned about ocean life in labs, but they had hands-on experience, too. Over the course of the trip, they went on three snorkels in Toyon Bay.

“[My favorite part of the trip] was probably the night snorkel because we got to see glow-in-the-dark plankton,” said Eighth Grader Lauren T. “Our instructor told us if we kicked our fins we could see the plankton glowing.”

Other fun activities included rock climbing on Sunday.

“[The rock climbing] is harder than usual. The walls are really high and there are some parts of it that had no ledges and you had to use just the plastic to get up and it’s really tough. I liked how they named the hard walls, too. Chuck Norris was the hardest. I couldn’t get up! It was very cool,” said Eighth Grader Evan W.

Besides daily activities, the 8th graders had to divide into groups and help clean up after themselves.

“We had to help on our part, like we had to help them clean up and we had to help them set up for dinner, breakfast, and lunch. The meals were pretty [good],” said Eighth Grader Brittany L.

On their last day at camp, the Eighth Graders got to see a wild bison as it wandered into camp.

“He walked on the beach in the morning and came into camp. He scratched himself on some logs,” said Eighth Grader Sam S.

Overall, the Eighth Graders had a really fun trip to Catalina. They learned a lot about marine life, the Pacific Ocean, and especially being away from city life for a while!

To view more pictures taken by Sara Pearlman of this trip, click on the link below.

Click on the link below to see pictures taken by Michael Fujii.

Pictures below taken by Amanda M.

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