Inside California Education: Cabrillo High School Aquarium – Diving into Marine Science

September 23, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


♪♪ Eisen: Most people, when they
hear that we have an aquarium, they visualize a classroom
with a couple of tanks in there but when they come and
actually see what we have they’re pretty blown away
because of the scope of what we’re doing. This is where
the magic happens, right here. Eisen: We have a
plethora of marine life. ♪♪ Rob: THE MAIN FLOOR OF
THE AQUARIUM IS OVER FIVE THOUSAND SQUARE FEET
AND HOUSES MORE THAN TWENTY FIVE EXHIBITS…..
THE ONE-OF-A-KIND FACILITY IS LOCATED AT CABRILLO
HIGH SCHOOL IN THE CENTRAL COAST TOWN
OF LOMPOC. Eisen: Once a month we host
an evening open house to the community at large. Students: Hi, welcome to
the Cabrillo Aquarium! It gives everybody an
opportunity to see what the students are doing and what
we’re all about here at the Cabrillo High
School Aquarium. ♪♪ We’re hosting over 7,000
visitors a year and the students are
the tour guides. As advisors we just kind of
step back and let them take over and run the show. Student: That little red dot
right there is Point Conception, right next to our near
and dear town of Lompoc Eisen: Basically
they do everything. At the beginning of
each school year, there’s a pretty intensive
training period in terms of how to do the husbandry
techniques and what the different roles are. Eisen: But you can
still feed them again, yeah, because they
digest pretty quickly. Chase: Whenever I say
I work at the aquarium, I’m Head Curator. They’re like oh so like
there’s a tank and you’re the guy who cleans
the tank… no no no no. I’m one of
the few students who are in charge of a
multi-million dollar facility. Chase: You guys
are buddying up. Do you have a job yet? Not yet. I don’t think anyone has
estuary yet if you want to cover that tank. Chase: This
aquarium is the real deal. There’s nothing like it. I know, I Googled ‘how
many aquariums are in High schools?’ I
couldn’t find anyone. ♪♪ Eisen: there’s just a
really cool synergy where students have to work
together with one another. Eisen: The hands on
component is the most powerful part. They feed the animals…… They take care of
the exhibits…. there’s times where you know
something breaks down and it’s a great opportunity for
a student to learn how to fix things like that. If you don’t do that animals
are going to suffer and animals would die. Chase: The animals
definitely depend on us and it’s a huge responsibility
to have to watch out for all of these different animals
that live in these tanks. And even hatching
baby sharks for example. That’s a very
difficult task. Greg: The ability of us
having animals breeding in captivity is really a
testament to the job the students are doing. Greg: We’re not trying to
crank out marine scientists, honestly this is a
training program. Chase: So talk about
that definitely. Eisen: A big part of their
job is they got to train the next generation, and not
only that they gotta get them interested in
wanting to take on that responsibility and carry the
baton and keep that program going and
improving every year. Rob: THE AQUARIUM
STARTED MODESTLY IN 1986 WITH THE VISION OF ONE
TEACHER — DAVE LONG…. THROUGH PRIVATE
DONATIONS AND GRANTS DAVE’S DREAM HAS GROWN FROM A SMALL
CLUB TO A PROGRAM WITH MORE THAN 200 STUDENTS ENROLLED
IN CLASSES THAT COVER TOPICS LIKE TOURISM, MARINE SCIENCE
AND AQUARIUM OPERATIONS. Dave: Good job guys. The Cabrillo High
School Aquarium, is a passionate
part of my life, and I’m extremely
proud of it. And the reason that I am
is to see the students that work in here Dave Long: it’s
overwhelming to come and then see it continue to
perpetuate itself through these students When we see young people
and they’re talking to little children about
what their passionate about. There is no teacher that
could give them the same message as those high school
students who those young people look up
to and admire. Kailey: Alright! Hey
there scuba kiddos, my name is Kailey
and I am your scuba expert for the day. Kailey: It’s really
wonderful to be able to work with the kids of
our community. And for some of these
children it’s the first time they’ve ever had an
encounter with water, or the ocean itself. So for me to be able to show
them how wonderful it is, and how much there is to
learn about it is awesome They’re
all ready for us. I’ve had anywhere
from a kid smiling saying, “You made my day, I really
love the ocean a lot more now,” to , “I’m gonna go to
Cabrillo High School because I wanna be like
you and work in the Cabrillo High
School Aquarium. Kailey: I’m so excited I
have the pleasure of diving with all of you today. Kailey: We just give the
best experience to the kids that come through, we
can really change lives. Kailey: Do any of you
know what adaptation is? Yes! Student: Getting used
to like a certain place. A certain temperature. Kailey: I think I definitely
wouldn’t be the person I am today. The aquarium has really
grown a lot more confidence in myself. As I was growing up, I had a
bad speech impediment and I actually had learning
disabilities as well. but working
in this aquarium, it’s just shown me just,
if you really wanna do something, you’ll be able
to achieve it no matter how hard it seems
that it may be. My junior year, I lost my
dad to Stage Four cancer, and I really
wanted to give up. When I learn more
about the ocean, it makes me feel that I
may be closer to my dad He always told me
to never give up, like, share your passion,
do as much as you can, and that’s where I am today. Eisen: It is so satisfying
to me to see students grow and develop and rise. they come in
here and they just, a spark is like lit. Group: One, Two,
Three: Seaquest! Eisen: They are capable of
doing such amazing things and they just
need opportunities. this aquarium, it’s a tool. It’s a tool for students
to be able to take their learning to a
whole new level. ♪♪ Annc: The majority of the
animals at the Cabrillo High School Aquarium are native
to the nearby Central Coast. That includes cartilage fish
like horn sharks and swell sharks; as well
as bony fish, like surf perch
and sculpins. The aquarium also
features Thornback rays, as well as invertebrate
animals such as sea cucumbers, sea urchins,
sea stars and corals.