About two weeks ago, I got to chaperone my first grader’s field trip to the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford. My family used to be members there, so he was familiar with the place, but for many of the kids, it was their first time there.
Three out of the six first grade classes went on the field trip that day & the other three went the following day. The people at the Ocean Explorium split each classroom into groups and we went through four separate stations as a group. The Ocean Explorium is relatively small, so I think that was the best way to run things.
Our first stop was Science on a Sphere. Using high-speed computers, multiple projectors and advanced imaging techniques, Science on a Sphere creates an image of the planet in 3-D.
Next up, we went to an area with two touch tanks filled with local species such as scallops, lobsters and more. One of the Ocean Explorium’s intern, Brandon, took some of the creatures out, explained what they were and then passed them around for the kids to touch & hold.
My guy wanted no part of touching anything “slimy” and I can’t say I blame him. However he did want to touch a quahog because it was just the shell that he was touching.
The next exhibit we went to was the touch tank. The touch tank features Cownose Rays, Atlantic Stingrays, and Bamboo Sharks.
Again, he wasn’t interested in touching anything in the tank, so he just stood outside and watched the rays & sharks swim around.
Next to the touch tank, they had some Shark eggs, which he was fascinated by.
Our last station was where the kids got to dissect a squid. Yes, you read that right. I had no idea that something like that was going to be part of the day & I am fairly certain that my son’s teacher saw all the color drain from my face when the girl from the Ocean Explorium said that’s what we were going to be doing next. She came over to me and said that there were going to be kids that wouldn’t want to participate, so I could stay over to the side with them.
I think I am still scarred from the starfish I had to dissect in 7th grade biology.
Not only was I totally grossed out by the thought of cutting apart a dead squid, but so was my guy. He is totally my child. He was even more grossed out by the smell of them.
He was the first one who went and sat off to the side, but he was quickly followed by several of his classmates (and me).
Overall, it was a great day and I am so happy I got to spend the day with my kiddo and his classmates. The Ocean Explorium is located at 174 Union Street in New Bedford, MA.