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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Exploring the Pacific Ocean

NEWS                                                                                   Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 11, 2014                                                                      Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Exploring the Pacific Ocean
Aquarium on Wheels Visits Collegewood

WALNUT, CA—Collegewood Elementary first graders experienced Pacific Journeys during an educational assembly presented by the Aquarium of the Pacific on April 11.

Students traveled the globe during the interactive presentation to learn about ocean inhabitants and their unique adaptations for survival in a watery world.  Following the program, they experienced a hands-on opportunity to touch local marine life in the aquarium on wheels parked in front of the school.

“The program addresses sea life and how it connects to our world. Perfect for our Common Core curriculum!” said Teacher Jane Dyer-Smith.

The children even got to act and swim like a giant humpback whale.

The group of over 60 students squealed as a life-size elephant seal and 22’ great white shark inflated right before their eyes.

“The biggest great white was almost 8,000 lbs.,” said Aquarium educator Nick Stong.

Then the youngsters went outside to the traveling aquarium for a close-up look at sea life.

In groups of four, the children entered the ocean on wheels keeping quiet so they wouldn’t scare the animals.

They used two fingers to gently touch sea stars, sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish and swellsharks kept in three touch tanks.

“Are they alive?” asked one boy looking at a bat star.

“They are alive,” replied Lindsey Shimasaki, another member of the Aquarium’s education team.

Liliana Fox described the sea cucumber as “squishy.”

“Ewww… I touched it!” exclaimed Alexander Santiago as he dipped his fingers in the shark touch tank.

“It felt very smooth,” he said afterwards.

Garrett Yanagi thought the little sharks were bumpy.

“They feel really good and a little bit rough,” added Kai Ramirez.


Collegewood first graders got a close-up look at life-size inflatable great white shark during an Aquarium of the Pacific education assembly held on April 11. 

Collegewood Elementary 1st graders enjoyed touching local marine life in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s mobile aquarium during a visit to their school on April 11. 

A Collegewood Elementary first grader bravely touched a swellshark. 

Alexander Santiago was eager to take a turn touching the bumpy little sharks. 

Teacher Jane Dyer-Smith experienced the underwater tour with her students.