Fifth graders experience naval life on San Francisco trip

Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School fifth graders found their sea legs during an overnight trip to San Francisco in April.

The field trip started with a visit to the Exploratorium, where they had fun getting hands-on with the science and technology exhibits. But the real adventure began when they boarded the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, which was used as a cargo ship during World War II. They toured all areas of the ship, including the engine room, bridge, and galley kitchen, then slept overnight in bunks stacked four levels high. In the morning, they got to see the engines running (the same engines used in Titanic) and blow the ship’s whistle.

The destination was a first for the fifth grade class, which takes a history and social studies-themed overnight trip every year. In preparation for their visit to the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, a parent who serves in the Navy spoke to the class about WWII naval history, what it’s like to live on a ship, and how sonar works.

The adventure was part of Santa Catalina’s IEB program (Imagine Explore Become), a collection of overnight, outdoor excursions in grades 4-8.

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