Over the past couple of months I have worked closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the team at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Gloucester (where Mr. Ford works) to coordinate a fun program to bring to the second graders at Steward School. This morning, students had the opportunity to explore more about ocean life and visit five hands-on stations.
Students were extremely engaged by the interactive stations that focused on the different life cycles, habitats, and adaptations of ocean creatures, as well as ways we can help protect our ocean.
Students experimented using their sense of smell at the Sturgeon Station. Sturgeon use their sense of smell to locate and return to their old spawning ground each year.
|Students learn about the life cycle of a sturgeon and see the size of sturgeon at different stages of life|
|Soren and Sadie sample different smells to "find" their way downstream|
|Elise, Jake and Jackson sample smells and act as sturgeon|
At the salmon station, students played a game as they learned about the challenges salmon face in regards to predators, changes in their habitat, and their diet.
|J.J., Soren and Luke|
|Sample card from the salmon game|
|Molly, Nadia, Kiera and Leo play the salmon game|
In the last station, students learned about the benefits of grass in our wetlands. The marsh grasses help protect our water sources by filtering out waste such as litter and gasoline. Students performed an experiment to see what the water would look like if it was unfiltered. Ask your child what they polluted into the fish's water!
|Students watch as the marine biologist uses a sponge to demonstrate the benefits of marsh grass|
We loved having NOAA visit us this year! They brought incredible artifacts and hands-on experiments to help teach the children about the ocean life that lives in their area. Each student came back to the classroom excited to share some facts they learned:
"The wetlands was my favorite station because it was cool to learn about how the grasses help protect the water and keep it clean!" -Nadia
"I liked the ocean debris station. I liked scooping out the rice and acting like fish, trying not to eat trash." -Leo
"Rocky the whale was my favorite part. J.J. took the rope 55 feet into the hallway to see how long Rocky's mom was!" -Luke
"I liked learning about the Sturgeon's life cycle. Smelling the smells was fun. I learned that sturgeon use their sense of smell to find their way home." -Molly
"I liked all of the stations. They have cool activities that we can touch, feel and smell and we got to learn about the life cycle, habitat and adaptations of ocean creatures." -Soren
We look forward to learning more on our field trip on Monday to Gloucester!