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Lab or In-School Programs for Grades K - 2

Bring your students to us, or we will visit your classroom – it’s your choice! Teachers may work with our marine educators to customize a lab program, or select from one of our standard labs below. Choose two activities for each 2.5 hour time slot unless otherwise indicated.
Critter Bins (Project O or In-School) Critter availability may be seasonal. Students rotate in small groups between bins containing a variety of organisms from Long Island Sound. For each organism, students will make predictions about how the animals move, eat, and survive. Students will identify and discuss structures and behaviors that they think are adaptations. This activity can be customized for a wide range of age levels and curricular goals.
Critter Explorations (Project O or In-School) Critter availability may be seasonal. These programs are specially designed to provide younger students with the opportunity for a deep dive into the lives of specific marine organisms. Each hour-long program includes an opportunity to meet and touch a marine animal, a lesson on the biology or ecology of that animal, a story book, and a craft. Select from the options below. ​

Hermit Habitats: Hermit crabs are common in shallow water.  Did you know they are often home to other smaller animals?  Students will touch live hermit crabs, hear a story, and create a hermit crab of their own.

Living Fossils: Horseshoe crabs have been on Earth as long as the dinosaurs!  How have they been successful for so long?  Students will find out as they touch a live horseshoe crab, make a horseshoe crab model to take home, and hear a story.


Fabulous Fish: There are many different types of fish in Long Island Sound!  Students will touch live fish, discover adaptations used for protection, hear a story, and try their hand at camouflage.  Will anyone find your camouflaged flounder?


Super Skates: These animals are related to sharks and rays.  Students will figure out what these amazing animals have in common, hear a story, touch a living skate, and design a skate of their own.


Secrets of Squid: Find out how squid protect themselves against predators and search for their shell, which is called a pen!  Students will examine the inside and outside of a longfin squid, read a story, and create a squid craft to take home.


Amazing Algae: Seaweeds are at the base of the food web in the ocean – marine animals depend on them for food, protection, and more!  Seaweed is also used in many products you use every day, such as toothpaste and ice cream.  Students will examine seaweed up close, read a story, and then make their own kelp forest!


Clever Crabs: Discover how to tell male from female crabs, and what these animals eat based on their adaptations.  Students will read a picture book, touch live crabs, and create a crab of their own.

Seal Adaptations/Pinniped Power (Project O Lab or In-School) 

Small groups of students will rotate through a series of six stations each focusing on a different adaptation of the
harbor seal. Students will learn how to identify seals, examine the properties of seal skin and blubber and learn how
they keep seals warm; explore seal senses and how they are adapted for underwater life; and conduct experiments to
find out how seal shape and seal lungs are adapted for underwater life and swimming power

Fish Printing (Gyotaku) and Fish Anatomy (Project O Lab or In-School)
Originating in Japan and China in the 1800's, fish printing served a practical purpose as fishermen used it to preserve
a record of their catch. Since then, fish printing has been practiced as a form of art. In this lesson, students learn
about fish form and function, then make their own fish prints on paper
or t-shirts. Project Oceanology t-shirts may be available for an additional cost. Please inquire if interested.
Coastal Erosion (Project O Lab or In-School)
Students will create a coastal model that includes a beach or river and try to stabilize the structures they create. Groups will observe for impacts of erosion and then engineer solutions to coastal erosion by testing out a variety of mitigation strategies.

Other Grade K - 2 Programs

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