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Suggested Research Vessel Trips for Grades 4 - 5

Our programs can take place on the shore, in the lab, or at your school.  Reach out to our educators and let us know what is happening in your classroom – we’ll customize your program to support your curricular goals.  Our programs are designed to align closely with NGSS goals for grades 4-5.
Introduction to Oceanography (2.5 hours; Fall/Spring)
One of our most popular and versatile offerings! We’ll pull a lobster pot, empty it, and study the crabs and lobsters that we may find inside. We’ll catch fish by hauling a trawl net, and then spend time touching and observing them in our large on-board touch tanks. We’ll also tow a plankton net and (on some trips) sort through a mud grab from the sea floor.  Next, students will be trained to use real oceanographic instruments to measure water temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, and light at the surface and the bottom of the sea. We’ll use a sediment core to take a sample of the sea floor, and we’ll also investigate weather, water depth, color, and clarity.  At the end, teams will report back and share, and we’ll talk about how the living and non-living parts of the Long Island Sound ecosystem are related.
Marine Animal Expedition (2.5 hrs; Fall/Spring)
In this program focused on the animals that make Long Island Sound their home, students will first capture animals in a variety of ways.  They will pull a lobster pot, haul a trawl net, tow a plankton net, and (on some trips) bring up a mud grab from the sea floor. After the catch is in, we’ll place organisms into on-board touch tanks and bins where students can study them closely.  Students will rotate through the bins/touch tanks.  They will make predictions about how they think the animals move, eat, and survive, learn about their adaptations, and identify and discuss important structures. 
Seal Population Study (2.5 hours; Nov - April)
Project Oceanology has been monitoring the seal population in Fishers Island Sound for over 15 years, and your students will help us with this work during the course of an unforgettable marine mammal experience in the wild!  We’ll start out in the classroom with a brief slide show on seals and their adaptations. Next, we’ll board the R/V Envirolab and set out into Fishers Island Sound.  On the way to the seals, students will be given clipboards, datasheets, binoculars, and instructions on how to count the seals.  Once we reach the seals, students will work in small groups to count the seals (both on the rocks and in the water), and make notes about their behavior.  We typically see more than 100 seals per trip!  On the way home, we’ll compare results and discuss our findings.

Other Grade 4 - 5 Programs

Programming Home Pages:
On the Boat
On the Shore
Lab or In-school
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