STEM freshmen travel to Chesapeake Bay


Danait T Medin

The students caught multiple species throughout the Bay, one being this blowfish.

This past weekend, freshman STEM students traveled to the Chesapeake Bay area to a town with less than 60 permanent residents for marsh exploration. Leaving on Sept. 21 and returning Sept. 23, the students traveled along with Biology teacher Myron Blosser and Technology Education teacher Seth Shantz. This trip is planned annually by Blosser to bring newly adopted STEM students closer together.

“[The trip] serves two purposes. One being a way for students to get together for their first STEM experience as ninth graders and have a social yet academic way to bring them together. [Second, and] more importantly to me, the trip also gets them thinking about how our effect on the environment in Harrisonburg can affect the Chesapeake Bay because we are in the same watershed,” Blosser said.

Freshman Micah Wickline’s family, along with Blosser, helped push him to travel to the Bay. The trip consisted of crabbing, boating and lot’s of food.

“The first day we went on the boat to set crab pots with buoys attached to the ends of them for easy retrieval. The next day we walked through the marsh going through knee deep mud,” Wickline said. “After getting cleaned up, we got back on the boat to go soft shell crabbing and in the afternoon we went to go retrieve the crabs we caught in the traps and ate them for dinner. The last day, we got up really early to clean up the house we stayed in, said our goodbyes and left.”

Everyday the students were required to cook dinner themselves given certain jobs and different cooking roles.

“We were given certain roles like SLOP cop, [SLOP standing for stuff left on the plates] where the person assigned this would prohibit other students from getting seconds if they had anything left on their plate,” Wickline said. “The portion control officer was made a role to make sure students didn’t get more food than would be enough for each student.”

Wickline feels Blosser’s attempt to bring the new freshman STEM class closer together through this trip worked.

“Going on this trip was both a great learning experience and social experience because I met people in my class whose names I didn’t even know,” Wickline said. “Coming back from the trip, everyone was talking about funny things that happened and we all new more things about each other.”

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