Grade 11 Life Sciences Outing

When we reached the classroom we were pleased to find that it was not what we expected. There were large tables with tanks in the centre which contained live specimens of marine animals – a refreshing change from the classroom set up that we’re used to. The lesson offered us an opportunity to revise the work that we are currently studying – taxonomy – but it involved a lot of hands-on learning. It was quite useful  to be able to see and feel the different characteristics on the live specimens in the tanks.

Even Ms Muhl braved the stench of squid a la calamari (pre Ocean Basket). Most preferred not to get their hands dirty, but others took full advantage of the opportunity to de-shell a squid. Who even knew they had a shell! It’s true that something new can be learnt everyday.  After an hour and a half of an entertaining & engaging lesson from our speaker, poking around a dead squid, and a few excitable crayfish, we were sent on our way to explore the exhibits inside the aquarium.

Whilst hunting for information to complete our worksheet, we were struck by beauty of nature in the design of the Knysna Seahorse. It is outrageous that such a tiny and gentle creature is an endangered species. Their cuteness alone is enough to inspire people to fight for their survival and protection of their habitats!

Cayleigh Brown is seen here attempting to catch the ‘flying’ rock lobster but the rock lobster’s speed, agility, general menacing appearance and behavior, and ‘backstroke’ skills enabled it to evade our inquisitive, reaching hands. He had ‘LEAVE ME ALONE’ written all over his face, and as such we thought it best to do just that.

Probably the most attractive and enchanting exhibit at the aquarium would be the Nemo tank. A chance to be inside Nemo’s world for a brief moment was a chance the grade 11 Life Sciences girls could not pass up. The “oohs “, “aaas” and “awws”  – accompanied by resounding high pitched shrieks of excitement at the sight of the beloved cartoon character’s real life form – did not easily die down.

We were just in time to watch a few tourists, led by a well trained instructor, go shark diving in the I&J Predator Exhibit! It was an exciting and exhilarating event to watch. Many of the girls said that one day they’d like to try it too! It was a fabulous outing – a rare combination of huge enjoyment and excellent learning