Young EcoExplorer Grades 3-5
Did you know that the oceans are becoming more and more acidic as greenhouse gases trapped within our atmosphere rise? Explore the scientific principles behind this phenomenon, and brainstorm ways to counteract the catastrophic effects this acidity has on our ocean habitats. Investigate how salinity affects the growth cycle of Artemia, better known as the brine shrimp or sea-monkey, by hatching and raising your own under a variety of conditions. Discover how a mermaid’s slime defies Newtonian physics, how to make a biodegradable plastic, and how the chemical properties of polymers allow us to clean up oil spills to keep our oceans beautiful and safe for the lifeforms that call them home.
Did you know that without plankton, the microscopic plant and animal cells that live within our oceans, larger species such as polar bears and penguins wouldn’t be able to exist? Build your own paper microscope (Foldscope) with optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes, and become a microbiologist. Discover the plankton’s secret world beneath the waves! You’ll also explore aquabotics, a specialized field of robotics that allows us to safely navigate the ocean depths without disturbing the fragile habitats that exist there.
Discover your inner pirate by learning a traditional shanty (pirate song) and donning a pirate scarf and tattoo. Learn how to tie the specialized knots required for life on the open seas. Design a bracelet to show off teeth of the mighty shark. Using household chemicals, create a model of the ocean’s five layers and the sunlight that reaches each. Partner up to explore the physics of waves as you work together to create waves with a Slinky toy.
Embrace your inner fisherman! Compete against your peers to “clam” for the most marbles. Take on the role of shark, minnow, and seaweed to see which species can win the game. Race to a deserted island to wait out the ocean storms, and navigate up and over the unpredictable waves. At the end of the week, work with your team to finish your seaside retreat first.
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