Grove sixth graders were given a chance to explore the Salish Sea all from their classrooms, as they took part in a virtual field trip to Penrose Point State Park.

The experience, through Inspired Classrooms, connected students in Grove with others, across the country, all linked into a real-time, virtual field trip, led by park naturalists.

During the event, students watched as park naturalists talked about the various creatures found within the intertidal zones. 

Using both the classroom's smart board, as well as chromebooks, students followed along throughout the trip.

They also completed an online beach scavenger hunt, checking off animals one by one as the park naturalist brought them to their attention.

For Grove Sixth Grade Instructor Lorraine Beall, the experience - which was provided free to the school  - gave three classes of students a chance to learn about geography and science.

She discovered the opportunity to join in the field trip - with classrooms across the country - while looking for things to supplement her classroom lessons. 

During the event, students learned about things related to Washington state, time zones, aquatic life and more.

"If they don't get to experience an aquarium locally, they may not have a chance to see the ocean - given we are a landlocked state," Beall said. "This is an introduction to being on a beach. It also helps show them the differences between living on Grand Lake, and being at the ocean."

Beall said she hopes the experience will lead students to consider exploring careers as biologists or geologist.

"I hope they are open to discovering, or looking beyond job fields that are locally available," Beall said.  "I wish I would have had something like this when I was a kid."