St. Anthony’s Marine Science Academy Students Experience Learning on Catalina Island

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Pictured in the photo are: Dr. Jones from the Wrigley Marine Science Center, Caitlin Fanning, Gaby Cortes, Lauren Alvarez, Joanna Lopez, Mr. Tom Nestojko, Science Teacher at St. Anthony High School

Pictured in the photo are: Dr. Jones from the Wrigley Marine Science Center, Caitlin Fanning, Gaby Cortes, Lauren Alvarez, Joanna Lopez, Mr. Tom Nestojko, Science Teacher at St. Anthony High School

In September, ten St. Anthony High School juniors participated in field study, traveling to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center at Two Harbors on Santa Catalina Island, under the leadership of their teacher, Mr. Tom Nestojko.

While on Catalina Island, the students had the opportunity to snorkel in an ecological preserve and were able to swim with dozens of leopard sharks and bat rays. This provided a unique way for them to break into marine biology and lose any anxiety they might have regarding this field of study. The students toured the marine biology labs on the island, hiked the island coastal trails, and were able to actually go into the USC Hyperbaric Chamber. The students participating in the study trip are among the newest members of the St. Anthony High School Marine Science Academy: Gaby Cortes, Joanna Lopez, Madeline Mahon, Sarah Baldwin, Isabela Estepa, Josh Littleford, Jacob Baray, Lauren Alvarez, Caitlin Fanning, and Bailey Mehus.

Mr. Nestojko commented, “It was amazing to see so much life in the water. We really are blessed to have the chance to take a trip like this. MSA students don’t just read about sharks, we get salty and swim right along with them!” The study trip was generously sponsored by USC and the Aquarium of the Pacific.

St. Anthony’s Marine Science Academy is in its 8th year, in partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. This innovative program provides a two-year integrated curriculum that enables students to receive college-level science instruction in high school. Each class is designed to build upon the previous class, thus ensuring success at the next level. In addition, students receive hands-on training and professional development in the marine biology field. Upon acceptance into the Marine Science Academy at St. Anthony, students take AP Environmental Science and AP Biology to go along with their field work at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

For more information about St. Anthony High School, visit their website: www.longbeachsaints.org or call Sheila O’Rourke, Alumni & Public Relations Office at (562) 435-4496, Ext. 1229.

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