Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to attend Greg Landry’s Marine Science Camp for homeschoolers in Dauphin Island Alabama. The week was one that we will NEVER forget. It was jam-packed full of amazing experiences and honestly, I think Day 1 was one of the coolest days of my life!
You can read all about Greg Landry’s Marine Science Camp here:
All Your Questions Answered
Camp Day 3
Greg Landry’s Marine Science Camp for Homeschoolers
Our first day at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was one of the most awesome days ever! We ate breakfast and headed to the sea lab. We were all pretty excited about the planned activities but didn’t really know what to expect.
First up was our trip into the Gulf, aboard the research boat, Alabama Discovery. We met our teacher for the week, Mr. Kyle, who was so welcoming and fun!
We boarded the boat and listened excitedly while Mr. Kyle went over the rules and what we would be doing today. He told us all about the boat, its purpose and what we could expect.
We learned about the equipment used on the boat, the Mobile Watershed and the importance of water details.
Then we got started.
Our trip included 2 trawls: one in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Mobile Bay area.
The kids literally squealed with delight when they dropped the Otter Trawl into the ocean. We explored the boat and watched in fascination while the birds began following our boat.
Pretty soon, Mr. Kyle pointed out a couple of dolphins who had started following us.
I joined a few of the girls on the upper deck so we could watch as they dragged the net in.
We were amazed at all the creatures we’d found!
Mr. Kyle threw out the things we didn’t need and kept the things we did. This was the most fun part for me because I loved watching the men toss the fish overboard. The birds and dolphins scrambled to get to them!
At one point, we counted about 11 dolphins following our boat! And more birds than we could ever count!
After everything was sorted, Mr. Kyle allowed us to join him on the deck and go over the creatures we’d found.
There were all kinds of things: crabs, stardrums, shrimp, stingrays, anenome, squid, sea pansies, anchovies, catfish, plankton, sea rabbits…the list could go on.
After trawling both the Gulf and the Bay, we headed back to land. During the trip, Mr. Kyle had a few of the girls help him test the water for solidity, temperature and
Then we tested the waters for all kinds of characteristics: solidity, temperature, etc
The girls wrote in their journals as we wrapped up our trip.
After lunch, we headed back to the Sea Lab to start our afternoon classes.
The cool thing about the sea lab is that they WANT you to touch things! They want you to examine them, feel the details in your hands and inspect each and every feature.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Where else will you ever hold a dolphin skull or a preserved shark?
We literally touched and held hundreds of animals that you’d find in the Gulf.
Mr. Kyle taught a lesson about classifications and how 97% of sea life is invertebrates.
After a few hours in the touch lab, we headed to the science lab, where we dissected a squid!
They pulled the pen from the squid and then sexed the squid. Only two of the students had female squids, so we gathered around and looked at the different organs.
After a thorough dissection, the kids wrote their names in their journals with squid ink!