Student Profiles: Anahi and Tommy

Students from John Castro’s class reflect his appreciation of the Splash Program 

Our Splash Guide, Irene Tuoto, captured a  glimpse into the thoughts of these magnificent children, Anahi and Tommy, during their field trip to Splash last Spring.




Anahi, who hopes to be a veterinarian specializing in small animals like cats, dogs and birds, likes the fact that with Splash, a person can come to the pools and get a closer look at nature and get away from technology.  (I like this child!)  Anahi has not experienced camping or being in an open grassland, but her dad takes her to Ramona Park where there are “whole bunch of flowers” .  She likes Splash science because she learned what is inside of the critters. 

In the classroom, Anahi liked observing the fairy shrimp, especially when she noticed that the female had an egg pouch!   It appeared to her that some of the fairy shrimp were dead and some of the living ones were trying to see if the others were alive. 

When I asked Anahi how Splash was different from other science lessons, she said,  “Splash is like different from science because science is like out of a book and with Splash, you have hands-on, you get a closer look at what they’re talking about in science.” 











When dipping in the vernal pool, Anahi and I were able to identify the water flea, flatworms, copepods, and a tadpole!  Her comment was that “There are some beautiful creatures in the vernal pools.“  Unfortunately, the pesky mosquito larva were also scooting around in the pool.  Although we did not locate Anahi’s flower, the frying pan poppy, she showed appreciation for the flowers we did find, including the popcorn flower, which she commented was similar to the flower named Baby’s Breath.


Tommy thinks that “Outdoors is a very cool place!  You can see many cool creatures that you’ve never seen before.”  In his other classes, he does not get outdoors like he does at Splash. 

In class, Tommy studied the solitary bee and the burrowing owl and if he could be a vernal pool critter, the burrowing owl would be his choice “because it’s a very cool thing” and he would like to see a live owl someday. 











When he first got the checkerbloom as his flower, Tommy was not impressed.  Then he read about the five petals and the pink and white flower and decided that it was cool. 






In the Splash center, Tommy really enjoyed looking at the critters through the microscope because he could get a good look at creatures that are very small.  At some point, Tommy would like to return to the fields during the dry phase and hopes to see a burrowing owl and a coyote. 

When I asked Tommy for suggestions for improving the Splash program, he suggested,  “If I could improve the Splash program, I would build some nesting areas so more people can see other birds.”  While we were in the field, the red winged black bird sang to us and swallows swooped overhead.  In the future, Tommy wants to be a famous singer, travel and take pictures.  I certainly hope that he gets to see a burrowing owl and a coyote in his travels and I’m delighted that he likes to be outdoors!