April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

WDS Campus Is Its Classroom

WDS fifth graders concluded their semester of learning about the Long Island Sound with a trip to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT. This interdisciplinary unit begins in the fall when students spend a day on the shores of WDS’s very own beach, exploring the intertidal zone with buckets and nets, and then getting into the water with a large seining net to collect more marine species. The students collect a sample of organisms to bring into the science lab’s intertidal fish tank, and spend the next several months learning about the different species. As the students do weekly observations of the different animals, they also learn about the marine food web, the adaptations animals must have to live in the intertidal zone, the geological history of the Long Island Sound and the impacts of human development on the environment.

From observing microscopic plankton to dissecting squid in the science lab to performing crab count estimates of the invasive Asian Shore Crab, students engage in a series of hands-on experiences to bring the science of the Sound to life. The culminating field trip to the Maritime Aquarium allows them the opportunity to see some of the marine life of the Sound that they can not observe from the shores of Mamaroneck, such as harbor seals, sharks, rays and jellyfish. They also participate in a class where they learn more about the intertidal animals, including horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, oysters and whelk. It is a wonderful way to reinforce what the students have learned during the unit and for them to impress the aquarium educators with their knowledge.

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