Here is a post about the first day of our trip, stay tuned for the rest!

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An exhibit at the National Marina Sanctuary Exploration Center. Capturing our class perfectly: from the farm to the ocean researcher all are affected by conservation.

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A picture of all of us by the ocean!

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A quote from the Steinbeck Museum, showing us the history of Salinas and the migrant workers.

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Joe with sea otter

We started our adventure at the National Marine Sanctuary Center where we got to play around with interactive computer games that simulated sonar images from underwater depths, look at the organisms growing on the remains of fallen whales, and realized the hazardous effects of plastic bags on sea turtles.  The locations of this museum lead us to the mouth of an even bigger exploration “center”: the Pacific Ocean. After having a delightful lunch along the breezy Santa Cruz boardwalk, enjoying the sun and the sand, we headed over to the Steinbeck Museum. Even though all of us have read novels by the quintessential American novelist, only a few of us knew about his deep-rooted connection to Salinas. Through his rich literature, we walked through the migratory history of the United States, focusing on the role of agriculture and the debilitated dust bowl (features in The Grapes of Wrath). We were later inspired by a video of a CNBC news reporter who rose from economic hardships, working as a farm hand in Salinas. This led to interesting set of questions like: how come most of the farm hands working in Salinas are Mexican-American immigrants? How are their contributions to society acknowledged and regarded?   How can education present more opportunities for first-generation children?

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