Education column: Students visit ocean without leaving town

When was the last time you went on an underwater expedition…and did not leave Clovis? Impossible, you say?

Well, you would be wrong, because that is exactly what the third grade class of Lockwood Elementary School did recently.

Without leaving Clovis, they experienced an underwater expedition via technology.

The Clovis school system was visionary enough to purchase audio and video technology allowing our students opportunities they would otherwise not have. In this instance, our students visited the Discovery Reef at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

They met the instructor there, and she talked to them about something they could relate to…the clown fish.

No, not because most third graders are clowns, but because the Disney movie “Nemo” was about a clown fish and his son. The Discovery Reef instructor now had their attention and the students shared their knowledge with the instructor about where clown fish lived and what type of shelter they needed.

Then, she took them further into their adventure by showing them actual clown fish living in the Discovery Reef aquarium. From there, she taught them about various ocean zones and the types of fish that live in each one.

Did you know there were three types of zones in the ocean?

There is the tide pool, which is the shallow area and shrimp, starfish, hermit crabs, etc., live there.

Next, is the coast zone, which is a little deeper, and that is where you’ll find clown fish, stingrays and even sea horses.

Finally, there is the open ocean zone and, of course, that is where larger animals like whales, sharks, etc., live.

As our third graders learned about each of the zones, the students were able to actually see the various types of fish in the Columbus Zoo aquarium. Unlike videos and TV, however, they were able to ask the instructor questions as they went along.

It all ended too soon as no one wanted this underwater expedition to end. This was an exciting exploration as we were able to see and learn about things you don’t find here in the desert.

What great future adventures exist for our students because our schools have the technological ability to take them anywhere in the world.

Of course, this would not be possible without our technology department and teachers who make the effort to find these types of opportunities for their students.

And, because they invited me to go on this adventure with them, you also got to experience your own underwater expedition (of sorts), and now you know about the three types of zones in the ocean and what lives in each one…and you didn’t even have to leave Clovis.