The grade 11 students have been enjoying a fun week – and some hands on science – at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Brady’s Beach

A boat ride across an inlet and a short hike is what it took to reach one of Bamfield’s most secluded beaches: Brady’s Beach. While the beach may be hard to access, we were met with a diverse expanse of white sand and tide pool layered rock outcrops as we came to the end of the trail that is one of the only ways to access the area. As we explored the beach we kept in mind the phrase “I wonder” in order to inspire ideas for our Group 4 project. In our respective groups, we traversed the beach in search of marine life that we could potentially study for our project. After a good hour of exploration, we ended our stay at Brady’s with some free time and a group photo session. All in all, the morning excursion gave us the opportunity to pose questions regarding marine life in its natural habitat, and inspired us to create meaningful and thoughtful experiments for our Group 4 projects. See ya soon and always remember to spray and pray!

— Aujin and Sasha

Bioluminescence

Have you ever seen a glowing sea when the waves hit? You know what that is? That is bioluminescence which is a phenomenon in living organisms where chemical reactions transform chemical energy into light energy due to changes in life processes, and it is a defensive reaction by plankton. The word is bioluminescence, a combination of the Greek bios for life and the Latin lumen for light. Last night, we wore life jackets and used headlights to light the way to the dock with a stick in our hands. Then, we stirred the water in a row, and there was a “halo” in the sea. We stirred different shapes of “halo” with shining white that we liked by using sticks. The “halo” in the sea matched the twinkle of the stars in the night sky to form a beautiful landscape.

— Avril and Avril

GROUP 4 Project student perspective

The group 4 project, is centered on a specific question of exploration. Our groups created research questions about topics we were interested in. This led us to be able to explore a species we had never seen before, and go on an adventure across the Bamfield campus and also explore other parts of Vancouver Island. As a group we had to come up with an experiment that we could test out, and that reflected our research question. We had to collect information and data. This was exciting because we had to go out of our comfort zones and experience something new. Both of our groups had to go outside and collect seaweed and hermit crabs. Then, we took them back to the lab to examine them. After about three hours of data collection we started to work on our presentations. Every group used different strategies to finish their project. For example my group (Magnus) created a mind map for the different points of science. In my group (Corin) we collected different samples of seaweed and put them under heat to see which species would retain more water. Tomorrow morning, the groups will give their presentations to complete our group four project and our wonderful stay in Bamfield.

— Corin and Magnus 

ALTA OCEAN TRIP

At the beginning of our last full day at Bamfield, we split into two groups and headed down to the docks at separate times. There at the docks, our group was greeted by a boat called the Alta, which had a massive square bucket attached to a cable, and what looked like a very large, slightly elongated chinese food take out container on a metal pole in the center of the boat. Both of these devices were left a mystery to all the students until we drove out into the ocean a bit further, and the skipper dropped the bucket into the water while we were still moving. After a couple seconds of us watching intently to try and figure out what came next, the skipper used a hydraulic system to haul the bucket back on board, and dumped its contents into the takeout container. We were shocked to see a multitude of unique sea creatures that had been scraped off the ocean floor, including a few fish, three sea urchins, what we thought to be a type of shrimp, and countless hermit crabs. After sorting the living things into a separate bucket of water and taking a photos of our finds, we threw the live stuff overboard, and used a strange variation of a dustpan to scoop all the nonliving debris overboard as well. After the skipper washed the pan and deck off with a hose, we started back towards the shore to let the other group have their turn sampling this unique and exciting experience.

— Carson