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Students get hands-on ocean life lesson

The Pacific Ocean visited Project Think on Wednesday. Manhattan Beach Pier’s Roundhouse Aquarium docents and oceanographers presented a thought-provoking lesson on oceanic plants and animals, ultimately explaining the human’s positive and negative influences on this spacious biome. 

The instructors acquainted the children with a variety of sea animals, including echinoderms, arthropods, mollusks, fish, sharks and rays, and marine mammals. The children had the opportunity to hold a sea star and touch a sea cucumber. 

Some children in kindergarten through second grade wore costumes of a whale, shark, sea lion, smaller fish, plankton and the sun to demonstrate all of life’s dependence upon the sun for its energy. They also demonstrated the food chain. Instructors displayed bones, teeth, cartilage, and baleen for the curious students. Four separate assemblies were held to accommodate the various age levels.

Now in its 34th summer, Project Think reaches out to students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. This year’s theme is oceanography, the umbrella under which the students increase their knowledge and thinking skills. In the mornings, students enjoy learning through a hands-on approach, as they rotate through classes of language arts, computers, science, drama, art history and “Think Tank.”

Many students stay for the afternoon session and may choose drama, computers, swimming (lessons included) or conversational Spanish. Each of the two three-week programs is independent of the other. 

There is still room for enrollment in second session July 7-July 25. Creators of the program, Susan Warren and Kay Conley, direct a large staff with a small ratio of students to adults. The program takes place in The Old Schoolhouse on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Indian Hill. 

Visit www.projectthink.com or for information or call the office at (909) 447-4741.

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