ZooBot students enjoy annual Catalina trip

By Will Bodendorfer,
BlueDevilHUB.com Multimedia Editor-in-Chief–

As part of the Davis High Zoology and Botany (ZooBot) curriculum, students are offered the chance to go on a three-day field trip to Catalina Island, which is located off the coast of Los Angeles. This year’s trip took place from March 2 to March 4, with close to 90 Zoobot students in attendance.

Science teacher Sherri Sandberg says that the trip is a worthwhile experience because, along with getting to see real life examples of the ZooBot curriculum, students also get a chance to try unfamiliar activities.

“I think there’s a lot of things students gain; one, they get to see the invertebrates we’ve been talking about live, which is a lot more interesting than talking about them in class,” Sandberg said. “I also think for a lot of people it kind of stretches them to try the snorkeling and dealing with the cold water and the snorkel in their mouth.”

For senior Sebastian Gonzales, the trip certainly exceeded his expectations.

“Going into it I was worried it wasn’t going to be worth the money or the long bus ride, but to my surprise it was a really fun experience and I don’t regret going at all,” Gonzales said. “It was definitely something I would do again if I had the opportunity and something I will be able to look back on when I’m older.”

While on the island, students engaged in a variety of activities, including kayaking, snorkeling and hiking. For Gonzales, kayaking was the highlight, but he also enjoyed being able to meet new people.

“The trip definitely encouraged me to interact with different people from our school through the lab groups and dorm arrangements and so I was able to make friends with a lot of great people,” Gonzales said.

Senior Matt Rowen advises students in next year’s ZooBot class to venture outside of their comfort zone while at Catalina, and do things that they will rarely have the opportunity to do again.

“I would definitely encourage kids to do all the optional stuff on the trip like the night dive and the sunrise hike,” Rowen said. “While you may be really tired at the time, it’s something that you only get a few chances to do and looking back I’m definitely glad I chose to do both of those activities.”

Sandberg says that while she enjoys the snorkeling, getting to see her students appreciate what she’s been teaching is always the highlight.

“It’s really great to see my students having a good time and getting to experience the stories I’ve been telling them,” Sandberg said.

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