June 11, 2024
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June 11, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

WDS Fifth Grade Learns About Marine Life

The WDS fifth grade learned about the most important organism in the sea-plankton. Plankton makes up the base of the food web in the ocean, and also provides the majority of the oxygen that we breathe on Earth. Students learned about the difference between phytoplankton (plants) and zooplankton (animals) and saw some amazing close-up videos of these microscopic organisms. They did a fun engineering challenge by designing their own plankton that was neutrally buoyant. Their creation had to hover in the middle of a container of water, neither floating at the top nor sinking to the bottom.

The fifth graders then concluded their study of the marine life of the Long Island Sound with a squid dissection. Squid are fascinating creatures and, alongside octopus, are the best camouflagers in the animal kingdom. They have special pigment cells called chromatophores that allow them to change color instantly, and they are constantly changing to better match their surroundings. Students were able to observe the chromatophores, as well as some cool internal anatomy—like the squid has a beak that looks just like a bird’s! The students particularly enjoyed finding the ink sac and used it to write their names on a piece of newspaper.

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