The Year 13 biologists went to Portaferry to study and carry out an investigation on the adaptations of different species of seaweed.

Line Transect

Once at Portaferry, we walked down to the beach and assembled our equipment. The teachers then gave a brief overview of how the practical should be effectively and efficiently carried out. After pairing up, we placed our quadrats in order to estimate the percentage cover and identify the types of seaweed present using our keys which we had made in class prior to the trip. These included the names of each seaweed such as bladder, saw, egg, spiral and channel wracks, and also included some information about the adaptations for each with regards to their appearance and why it is so.  We finished up on the shore by exploring the activity within the rock pools where we saw some hermit crabs.

Rock Pool Exploration

Shortly after, we headed back up to the buses and helped ourselves to a well-deserved lunch in the lovely sunshine. After a close call with a swarm of bees, we made our way to the Exploris Aquarium where Cillian, our guide, introduced himself and we began our tour. We were astonished by the variety of sea life in the different rooms and we managed to see Nemo and Dory accompanied by seahorses. We also saw a large range of tropical fish with their beautiful and vibrant colours. The white tip sharks gave a few of us a scare but we were in awe at how smoothly they slid through the water.  We then witnessed the seals being fed which was very humorous and enjoyable. A heart-warming way to end the day was when we saw first-hand the rehabilitation of the local baby seals. We said goodbye to the wildlife with a hug from the sting rays and baby sharks in the touch pool. Poor Jessica got a fright when a sting ray got too close for comfort and she was splashed.

Visit to Exploris

On our return to school we met in the Biology department where we collated our results and reflected on our newly developed biological skills such as identification of seaweeds and understanding adaptational requirements for specific species. It was a great experience during which everyone had fun and allowed the Bloomfield biologists to piece together our knowledge for our upcoming AS examinations.

It was a well organised day thanks to Miss Ritchie and Mrs Crawford and we thoroughly appreciated all of their hard work.

Nadia B, Fodhla B and Abigail L (Year 13)

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