Thanks to the generosity of two of our benefactors, Mr. Jim Mittermiller and Mrs. Elsie Weston, Nativity students were treated to a day seminar and tour at the Birch Aquarium and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla.
The world-renowned Birch Aquarium features a number of interactive and innovative exhibits, many of which explore the issues and challenges of environmental sustainability against the growing worldwide impact of fossil-fuel pollution. On their day visit to Birch, students learned that more than 20% of the world’s coral reefs—an essential building block for ocean life—has been lost in the past ten years alone because of global changes to the environment.
The purpose of the trip and day-long seminar was, however, to focus students’ attention on the wonders of the underwater world. Birch features more than 60 displays of sea life from all parts of the Pacific Ocean. In the interactive ‘touch tanks,’ students were able to witness and make contact with a variety of tide-pool life.
Students were also treated to a unique classroom experience at the nearby Scripps Institute, where they dissected and inspected small squid. Graduate students pursuing their doctoral studies and conducting research at Scripps were also on hand to present their current projects and to answer questions from Nativity students.
On a daily basis, Nativity students are committed to respecting the environment—like contributing individually to the effort to keep our school clean each day, and conserving energy and recycling at home. We hope this recent trip helps our students see how their individual efforts can and do benefit the natural environment. We also hope to establish a working partnership with Scripps to encourage in our students on an ongoing basis the wide range of opportunities for a career in science.
We are very grateful to Mr. Mittermiller and Mrs. Weston for providing this unique opportunity for our students.