Get WET at The New England Aquarium

Welcome to the NEOSEC project Get WET in New England: Ocean Literacy Through Watershed Education and Training

Several NEOSEC members are taking part in this collaborative project, including New England Aquarium. Program participants are keeping a blog of their activities during the workshop – follow along!

Day 2 – July 16, 2010

Get WET Day 2 Photo 1
Margaret uses her quadrate to gather data about the area

Our second day was full of even more marine adventures!  Today we took the teachers out to the Boston Harbor Islands to do some field investigations using the tidepools on Lovell’s Island.  After putting on sunscreen, we hopped on a boat that we chartered right from the docks of the Aquarium.  After a gorgeous 40-minute ride with the city of Boston in the background, we landed on the island.  With a quick welcome from the National Park Service rangers, Doug and Tim, we headed to the west end of the island to do some exploring.  Here are some of the reflections from the teachers on their experience.

Margaret Nolan – 6th grade in Hamilton, MA:  “The boat ride to Lovell’s Island on this beautiful day was another great experience. When first let loose on the beach, we followed our first instincts to scatter and explore. I found it interesting that we were told that this is exactly what is suggested for our students – allow about 10 minutes to take in all that they can before beginning the field work.”

Get WET Day 2 Photo 2
Due to the negative tide, we were able to reach areas that had some interesting inhabitants. This included a brittle seastar.

Abdulmalik Jackson – 8th – 12th grade in Boston, MA:  “The prior knowledge, given the day before simplified and cut the amount of actual discussion needed to clarify our objectives. I must say duplicating the model of how we, the teachers receive the data, shall make my job all the easier when in the classroom. So upon completion of yesterday’s dock instructions we teamed up and were sent off. My partner Jim and I chose a tide pool with ground water running into the ocean. Placing our quadrant in the running water initially made it easy to observe the marine life. Our instructor Bill came over and observed our saline test with hydrometer, water temperature and gave examples of “how he taught his class/students these procedures”. Within 15 minutes we observed a group of hermit crabs quickly making their way towards the rocks, moments later, the tide started coming. Thus, clarifying why hermits were scurrying for safety. Bill also explained the importance of climate changing affecting our planet, specifically marine life, that it is an extremely delicate balance.”

Get WET Day 2 Photo 3
The group heads towards the water to measure the sea level

Joyce Nett – 4th – 6th in Lexington, MA:  “The more we can use measurement in its true context, the more meaningful it will be for students and the more likely they will be able to recall the skill when needed. Collecting data allows us to start building a database from which we observe trends. After a while, we can start to make hypotheses about these trends (were they under similar conditions, time of year, place, etc.) After analysis, students will begin to refine their requirements for data, perhaps adding a more accurate global position or time of day. In other words, they are motivated to develop the standards and methods of scientists because they want to see the data! Although I think I will keep most of our studies next year to fresh water areas near our school, I will definitely use most of these data collection methods.”

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