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Tue, Oct. 22

Acorn Montessori fifth-graders enjoy Catalina Island for tenth year

Joseph Farris, left, and Brennen Brockert take a break from a plant identification hike on Catalina Island during Acorn Montessori Charter School’s fifth-grade field trip.<br>
Courtesy Photo

Joseph Farris, left, and Brennen Brockert take a break from a plant identification hike on Catalina Island during Acorn Montessori Charter School’s fifth-grade field trip.<br> Courtesy Photo

The fifth graders of Acorn Montessori Charter School traveled this spring to Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) at Cherry Cove. This is the tenth year Acorn students have participated in the Institute.

Seven specially selected sixth-grade students, who demonstrated exceptional effort and behavior this school year joined the fifth-graders.

Three Acorn faculty members and one parent chaperone found the Cherry Cove staff to be enthusiastic educators who led each small group of students in hands-on activities in marine biology, geology, ecology, botany, history, zoology and astronomy.

Because CIMI is an Acorn tradition, many of the students have been looking forward to the trip for several years.

Fifth-grader Donna Morrissey said when asked if Catalina was as great as she imagined it would be, "When I got off the ferry I realized, oh wow, this island is really huge and we're going to have to hike a lot. And I was right."

She said she also loved looking at plankton under the microscope, snorkeling, going into a cave and learning about the old miners.

Taylor Robertson's favorite activities were snorkeling, seeing the fish and just being in the water.

"I thought it was just going to be an island with a camp, and when I got there, it was an entire town. I liked learning about the different fish and seeing the bison that live on the island."

Robertson and the other students learned how the bison and other plants and animals on the island have adapted themselves to thrive in Catalina's unique climate.

Other activities on the island included a nighttime astronomy hike, deep sea creature program, an island ecology hike, and a tidepool/plankton lab.

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