Seabury Middle School students went on an adventure to Highline College's Marine Science and Technology (or MaST) Center in Des Moines today, where they became sleuths in a marine mystery. The MaST Center is a marine biology facility and aquarium associated with Highline College, which houses labs, classrooms, research areas, and a 15-tank aquarium. The location is open to the public on Saturday mornings, but the rest of the week services as an educational and outreach facility.
Seabury students were faced with the task of identifying the cause of death of a native marine mammal. Armed with data, photos, and necropsy (i.e. animal autopsy) results, students were asked to find evidence that supported their hypothesis of the cause of death. Their brains worked on overdrive, coming up with really clever theories and trying to prove them via the evidence at hand.
After this sleuthing mission, students then had the chance to visit the aquarium and get to know a few sea creatures better through the touch tank. A beachside scavenger hunt ended the day, as students combed the sand looking for items such as driftwood, different types of rocks, and various species of animals.
It was cold, but that did not stop Seabury students from having a blast learning more about our local environment and the animals we share it with!