A visit to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is sure to excite anyone, regardless of age and Huntington High School United Amigos club members are no different. The teenagers trekked out to Suffolk’s North Fork along with several faculty and staff members for several hours of unique learning experiences.
The Long Island Aquarium is located on a three acre site along the Peconic River. It took about a year to build and opened in June 2000. Since then it has attracted millions of visitors. It boasts of being the home to one of the Western Hemisphere’s largest living coral reef displays as well as housing on of the largest living insect exhibitions in North America.
The traveling party included Huntington High School Principal Brenden Cusack, United Amigos faculty advisor Rosario Lorenzana and teacher aide Juana Delarosa.
“Like kids when they see a toy for the first time, I was so excited to see the sharks, they are majestically beautiful,” said junior Daniela Ramos, who serves as the vice president of United Amigos. “They did not scare me, although it gave me some regret to see them inside the fish tank. We also gave food to the beautiful birds. That that was a very fun time, but I think Mr. Cusack was the one who enjoyed the most. Birds almost ate us!”
About 20 Huntington students went on the trip, which they will always remember. They studied each of the exhibits, participated in interactive activities and enjoyed plenty of fun and lots of laughs.
‘United Amigos is a really useful and fun club for bilingual students,” Ms. Ramos said. “Members join for new experiences and to interact with the different cultures in the school. The club caters to students who are new to the extracurricular scene and who may be less accustomed to participating in school events.”
The initiative was supported by Huntington UFSD Director of STEM Jill Johanson. It certainly succeeded in getting all of the United Amigos club members more interested in science.
“For me, it was a unique experience, since it was the first time I had gone to an aquarium,” said senior Kevin Flores, who serves as co-president of United Amigos. “I saw many fishes for the first time. I was able to see a shark in person for the first time, too. I felt very excited to see many aquatic creatures around me. I would like to have more experiences like this in my life.”
United Amigos consisting of about 30 active members. “It enjoys the reputation of being a vibrant and supportive community,” Ms. Ramos said.
The club annually awards scholarships to graduating seniors, hosts multicultural parties and performs community service.
“The experience at the aquarium was fantastic,” said junior Patricia Campos, who serves co-president of United Amigos. “I had fun. I met. I shared. I also learned a lot from that wonderful place, which is full of history. Since then I keep a beautiful thought, which is: Nobody grows more than the one that drives others in their growth.”
As the delegation returned home to Huntington, everyone had lots of memories to savor and plenty to discuss.
“The trip to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead was the kind of experience that opens your mind and motivates you to explore further,” Ms. Ramos said.