HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ocean became a classroom this week for about a 150 middle and high school students. The students did see much more than they would have in the classroom or reading a book.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sponsored an education cruise giving students from Oahu, Kauai, Molokai and Maui the chance to see what it's like to be a marine biologist. They studied plankton, water quality and navigation. They also dropped a net in the ocean and pulled up some samples then put their discoveries on a Petri dish and took a closer look at the plankton on the computer.
"Plankton is the base of the eco system, the base of the food web so it's important to know what's out here," said Donna Brown, NOAA Marine Biologist.
"It's cool it's nice they let us have this opportunity," said John Good, Lutheran High School Student.
"They saw a nice plankton tow, those are things we talk about back at school but don't have the ability to do," said Arthur Gundell, Lutheran High School Teacher.
NOAA has been doing these excursions for the past six years. It hopes the experience will help reel in the kids to a career in marine science and conservation.
If students and teachers are interested they can contact NOAA in advance to get on the application list for next year's trip.