MONTEREY, Calif. -

Twenty-four high school students from around the country got some cool hands-on training in Monterey Bay on Monday exploring the world of marine science.

The Camp Sea Lab summer camp is put on by CSU Monterey Bay. It encourages teenage girls to pursue a career in science.

The girls went on board the CSUMB research vessel to do what most teens don't have a chance to do.

"They're doing some underwater surveys, and they're getting an idea about what life is like under the water and they're doing some habitat studies," said Amity Wood, program director.

The program takes place over a period of five days. On Monday's trip the future marine scientists got to explore what lies beneath the ocean.

"It's amazing. You go out in the morning and you really feels like you're an actual scientist," said Ally Tomlinson, 14, of Chowchilla. "You go and look at all the tide pools and all the different animals."

She said her favorite part is exploring all the different organisms and algae.

Wood said the program gives the female students an opportunity to pursue a career that has been traditionally dominated by men.

"There just has not been a lot of women scientists in our education system," she said.

Tomlinson hopes in the future she will be among those women.

"I think girls should get into science. It's not just a guy thing. People have stereotypes that guys should do some things and girls should do others," she said.

As for student Julicea Petronelli, she also hopes to change history.

"I hope I'm one of those people that can be a scientist when they get older," she said.

Later this week the girls will visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where they'll get a chance to interact with women scientists and learn about their careers.