Welcome to summer camp

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Touching a leopard shark!


The first day of summer camp is in full swing! I am excited to hear laughter and signing outside my office.

This week we have two types of camp: Bay Explorers and Ocean Explorers (divided into two groups: Sharks and Rays). When you pick up your campers they will surely have so much to share. Please continue to read below and visit our blog to find fun follow-up activities for each day of camp.

Today our Ocean Explorers theme was “Water Wonders”. They touched live animals, including fish and even sharks! They also learned about the water cycle and get introduced to some of the largest creatures on Earth and learn about how some of these creatures explore and migrate across the oceans.

Ocean Explorers learned that marine mammals have many special adaptations to living in the ocean. One of these adaptations is to have a thick layer of blubber (or fat). To feel the insulating power of blubber, you can make a “blubber glove”.

Materials: lard (or some shortener), two plastic bags or plastic gloves, tape

Make a glove: Fill one plastic bag or glove with lard, about 1/3 full. Nest the second bag or glove inside, creating a barrier between your hand and the lard. Tape the inner bag and outer bag along the edges so that the lard doesn’t leak.

Try it out! Put one hand directly into a bowl of ice water and put another hand in the blubber glove into the water—feel the difference?

Our SF Bay Explorers became Estuary Stewards today. They caught fish in a beach seine net, they learned about bird feeding strategies, and raced to Recycle Reduce and Reuse in an exciting relay race. They even got to study and touch live fish straight from the Bay!

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Cartesian diver with a

One of our favorite activities today was experimenting with Cartesian Divers. This fun activity used recycled materials to demonstrate some incredible physics important to marine life, and helped us to practice trial and error. You can make your own at home with just a few simple materials.

Materials: plastic bottle with a lid, eye dropper (or straw with one end closed air tight with gum), paper clips and/or washers for weight, water-proof decorations

Assemble: Clean a plastic bottle and fill it with water. Decorate an eye dropper as a diver (with materials that can get wet) and fill the dropper part-way with water. Add weights until the dropper floats just beneath the surface of the water (this is called neutral buoyancy). Put the dropper in the bottle and watch the diver dive as you squeeze the bottle! OR get your dropper to be neutrally buoyant with just one paperclip hook on the bottom by adjusting the amount of water inside. Put bent paperclips on the bottom of the bottle and try to sink your diver, hook the paper clips and lift them up with the expanding gas.

Tomorrow the Ocean Explorers will be headed out on field trips!

The Ocean Explorer Sharks are headed to Bean Hollow State Beach. Don’t forget: LAYERS, water bottle, sunscreen, close-toed shoes.

The Ocean Explorer Rays are going to Aquatic Park (Maritime National Historical Park). Don’t forget: LAYERS, water bottle, sunscreen, close-toed shoes.

The Bay Explorers will have the campus to themselves to meet and touch live bay animals and to learn about the water that connects us all. Don’t forget: LAYERS, water bottle, sunscreen, close-toed shoes.


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