Each Monday this fall our Middle School Marine Science class ventures to Cove Beach in Stamford to do their field work.
The Marine Science curriculum is a hands-on course designed to introduce students to the study of the ocean, both its physical and living elements. It is intended to give students the experiences, information, and concepts they need to become informed citizens and good stewards of our Earth.
During the first trimester, emphasis on field work allows students to work with and see ecology concepts in action. Field work includes quadrat-type surveys of shoreline creatures and plants, and water quality testing using digital probeware and water chemistry test kits. Thus, the class contributes to monitoring the health of the coastline at Stamford Cove. Each week’s trip is used to reinforce concepts, practice scientific fieldwork techniques, and discuss our progress. The Fall Project ends with the class preparing and writing a report on their findings.
The second trimester project focuses on marine mammals. Students each conduct research on a whale of their choice and write a formal research paper, complete with citations. Classes in the third trimester include a unit on hurricanes, climate change, and coastal resilience, and a unit voted on by the students, either sharks, coral reefs, sea turtles, or the deep ocean. The year ends with a four-day trip to Cape Cod to reinforce the ecology concepts covered throughout the year, and go on a whale watch.
Click HERE for photos from this week's trip to Cove Beach.