Today, I got to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I just went on a field trip to Catalina Island with my school and the aquarium is right around the corner from where the boats leave to take people to Catalina.
I love the touch tanks where we can touch moon jellyfish, bat rays, and starfish. My favorite creature to touch is the sea cucumber. I don’t know why, but sea cucumbers and sea slugs are my favorite. I once went out on a boat right next door to the aquarium where they throw out a net and catch lots of different animals. They caught a sea slug and let me hold it. I was so happy! It was like a dream come true.
Then, we toured the exhibits inside the aquarium. There were coral reefs, kelp forests, and a giant aquarium filled with California marine life. There is one display that features incredibly camouflaged creatures as well. There was also an area with frogs. I LOVE frogs! A long time ago, I did a podcast called “Fun Stuff for Kids to do in Southern California.” I interviewed one of the volunteer SCUBA divers from the aquarium. Check it out here. Keith Brush was really, really nice. He also runs a company called “Future Scientists and Engineers of America.” Wow, I was really young back then! My brother in the pictures will be 17 this month!
We also had the opportunity to have Universal Studios all to ourselves. They closed the park down and only ISEF and Broadcom students were there. I got to ride on Dispicable Me, Transformers, The Mummy, and The Simpsons rides. There was also a sort of museum with props from old movies. They had one of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park movies. I didn’t get back to the hotel room until after 12:45! I was so tired that I’ll have to post pictures in this blog some other time.
One of the most helpful things that we did is that we got together with all of the ISEF students from my region and we practiced their interviews over and over giving them feedback and helping them get better and better each time. I hope that this helps them with their judging. It was really fun for me to learn so much about their projects. We did this with all of the Broadcom students in Washington D.C. and it helped me a lot.
Broadcom and Society for Science and the Public have done such a wonderful job of making sure that we’re having a great time and learning a lot.
Oh, and I forgot to mention yesterday that they gave us a Raspberry Pi. I now have 3 Raspberry Pis. I’m going to have to find a project that connects all three to do something special.