My favorite things about the aquarium

Published 7:07 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear Editor:
I’m Cooper Massengill, a 5th grader representing Sunny View  Elementary and I would like to tell you  my favorite things about  our school trip to the Gatlinburg Ripley’s Aquarium.  Our teachers had us study marine life for several weeks before our trip and we worked on decorating our hallway like an ocean.  The teachers taught us about all the different sea creatures we might see at the aquarium.
So the great day began with the buses. The bus seats were for two people so I could sit with my best friend. They were comfortable for our long trip.
Once we got to the aquarium, we pretty much went to lunch. The food was great. Then we went to a class called Mr. Potato Fish that was my 3rd favorite part. We got to make our own fish using a potato. After that we got in groups and explored. While my group was looking around we saw some sea horses and sea dragons. They looked a lot alike but the sea dragons had vine things all over. That was my 2nd favorite part. I learned that the sea horse lives in the deep part of the ocean and it’s one of the slowest fish in the sea so it uses its tail to pull itself across the ocean. My absolute favorite part of the trip was a tunnel called Shark Lagoon. When I got inside there was a sidewalk that moved and I felt like I was at the bottom of the ocean. My group and I went through it a couple of times and every time there was a sawfish against the glass on its belly that looked like he was smiling at me.
At the stingray petting zoo there was a Leopard shark that beat the side of the wall and another shark called the Bonnet head shark that looked like a hammerhead shark but it was just a relative of the hammerhead. I also saw the spider crabs. One was green and two were red. The green crab looked like he was the leader. We also got to pet horseshoe crabs.
Many of my friends said they had never been to an aquarium before the trip. The Polk County Community Foundation helped some of my friend’s experience an aquarium for the first time. Thank you! Also there was a tree that had angler fish in it and we were able to go inside the tree to see them because the fish tank had a hole in it and we can go inside it with the fish. Also just like the fish tank there was a tube for penguins. If you can’t or don’t want to go in the tube the floor there was made of glass and the penguins swam right under the glass. Down where the fish tank and tree are there is a jaw of a Megalodon shark. We found so many marine creatures. It was a really exciting day. So I just want to say thank you one more time for giving us this experience.
Cooper Massengill
Fifth-grade student
Sunny View Elementary School

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