In School Component
Learn all about Long Island Sound and what makes it so special! A SoundWaters instructor will guide you through the basics of local geography and different types of water you might find, including a hands-on demonstration of the special type of water found in the Sound. Then, explore what you’ve learned through three stations:
- Abiotic vs Biotic: What does it mean that something is living? How can we determine that something is alive – what does it need? Put your hypotheses to the test with a little detective work – which of our mystery items came from living creatures?
- Food Web: What is a food web? Meet living animals from the Long Island Sound, learn where each belongs in the food chain, and discover some of the things that make each animal special! Get up close and personal with these animals, using your senses of sight and touch to discover ways in which each can survive in its habitat.
- Geography: Students will learn mapping skills to highlight the Long Island Sound watershed topography and practice how we fit in to local geography.
Field Study Experiments
Water Mystery and Enviro-scape Investigations
Not all water is created equal! Did you know that there is more than one kind? Learn all about the different kinds of water found around Connecticut, and then use your knowledge to solve a mystery: which water sample came from where? Use scientific equipment and some detective work to discover the answer. Then, get a closer look at the way water moves through the environment with a hands-on demonstration: build your own town! What does it need? How do people use the roads, buildings, and natural surroundings? What might they leave behind? And what will happen to our town as it begins to rain?
Get acquainted with some of the fascinating creatures that call Long Island Sound home! Learn some of the special ways in which each type of animal survives in its habitat, then discover these traits for yourself. Touch and hold living animals and see what clues we can discover about their ways of life. Many of these animals can be found along the shores of the Sound; get a whole new perspective on our local environment.
Sandy Beach Exploration
Go on a Long Island Sound scavenger hunt! Many creatures leave shells behind for us to discover; what can we learn from them? Use the same simple equipment as a professional scientist to see what we can learn about the populations of our local animals. Identify different types of shells and practice some math skills along the way as we count and tally our findings. Finally, discover some of the secrets of the animals that made these shells!
Rocky Shore Populations Study & Exploration
A whole hidden world awaits along the shores of Long Island Sound! The rocks revealed by low tide are home to some amazing animals. Learn about what it takes to survive “in between the tides,” and what sorts of creatures we might find. Explore this habitat, seeking out these animals where they hide. Examine your catch – what did we find? Tally the results – do all these animals belong? And if not, where did they come from?
Plankton Sampling & Analysis
Explore the water at a whole new scale! Learn all about plankton, the tiniest creatures of the Long Island Sound! Then, use your newfound knowledge to collect them from their habitat using special equipment. Examine your catch in our laboratory with real microscopes, and see if you can identify what’s living along our shore! Which will always be tiny? Which will grow up into more familiar-looking creatures? Any why are plankton so important, anyway?