By Aiden Latham
Students at Leffingwell High School in Cambria enrolled in a marine biology course over the past several weeks. Students learned about whales, sea otters, and other sea mammals with a local expert John Meinke.
Students also examined elephant seals with volunteers from the Friends of the Elephant Seal non-profit. They studied how the seals behave, eat, their migration cycle, and more.
As part of the course, the Morro Bay Natural History Museum was another field trip where the students were taught about local wildlife and habitats. They had an opportunity to examine the mudflats and tour the Museum.
Once completing the field trips, they traveled to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to explore all matters of ocean life. Although a long drive, students said they enjoyed the self-guided tour of the aquariums, especially the sea otters.
Leffingwell also started art classes and completed several different projects including looming, where students built their own 4-foot by 3-foot loom and designed a pattern or picture with textiles. Students reported that the relaxation of weaving their designs, and the quiet environment provided a break from stress or anxiety. Some of the students chose to created free-hand. One used macramé to make a hammock shelf and another used crochet to create a lap blanket.
Students also built birdhouses, which involved sanding and cutting wood to fit individually selected layouts.
The school encourages community-building activities such as the Thanksgiving dinner they shared. A long table filled with food and drink brought by students and teachers made for a fun way to end the week before the break. A couple of students who had taken the culinary class made apple pies for all Coast Unified District sites, using apples picked from the orchard next to the transportation department.
This spring, Leffingwell plans to help the community by working with Greenspace and Friends of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Any local organization needing help with an event or project should be aware that the students at Leffingwell are always looking for community service opportunities.
Leffingwell Continuation High School serves the needs of alternative education students in the communities of Cambria, San Simeon and Cayucos.