All field trip stations are adaptable, given enough advance notice. If you are teaching a unit study on water, the water cycle, fish, etc., we can reinforce what you’re doing by inserting some of that content (like specific activities or vocabulary) into our in-house stations. We suggest connecting with us as you build out our units so we can align the station learning goals even more closely!
What’s It Like to Be a Fish? This literature-based station teaches students what a fish looks like and how to identify major physical features of fish. They will work on their observation skills through sight and coloring. Students also complete a drawing of a fish that they will get to see projected in the virtual aquarium.
What am I? Students will identify six lake related objects using only their sense of touch. Students will utilize sensory boxes in a game to discover what a turtle shell, a feather, aquatic plants, “fish eggs”, shells, and fish scales feel like. They will then use a magnifying glass to observe the objects to understand more about why they feel the way they do.
Aquatic Petting Zoo: The students will learn about and be able to touch various animals that live in our local lakes and streams. After this experience, the students will understand why it’s important to care for our environment and how it correlates with the animals. For each animal, the learning objectives and knowledge and skills are listed below.
All of these stations use a nature journal! Students answer questions and make observations at each rotation.
Taylor the Turtle Takes a Hike: Students will understand what pollution is and how humans affect pollution in lakes by allowing the students to see how various pollutants that are found during the “hike” with Taylor. In this interactive lesson, students play the parts in the Taylor the Turtle script, act as polluters and practice observation skills as Taylor’s home gets polluted by human activities. Each pollutant is discussed in terms of where it comes from, how it impacts the water, how it could be avoided and how it could be cleaned up. Students will then get to touch a live turtle.
Fish Anatomy: Students will use their knowledge of a fish to collectively draw a picture of a fish and label its different body parts. They will learn about how the fish uses its different body parts to survive in its environment as contrasted with the human body. Students then design their own fish and then make their fish come to life and watch it swim around in the virtual aquarium.
Life Cycles: Students will work collaboratively to discover the life cycle of a frog, butterfly, and fish and be able to place life cycle cards in the correct order for each animal and compare the life cycles. Students will then use their prior knowledge of life cycles to make a hypothesis of a turtle life cycle. Students then get to touch a live frog.
Pollution Solutions ARST: Students will do a hands-on experiment to test how pollution travels with water throughout the watershed by using an interactive sandtable to build a community and observe where the water goes when rain comes and how water can transport pollution. Students will then work collaboratively to problem-solve and design the best community layout based on how the water travels.
Wind and Water Erosion: Students will understand how the land can be shaped by erosion from both wind and water. They will use the augmented reality sand table to create wind erosion by blowing the sand through a straw, and watching how the “rain” from the clouds they create with their shadows makes the land erode over time. Students will then choose materials to create barriers to erosion: tree lines, silt fences, riparian strips. They will design their structures and experiment again with “wind” and “rain.”
Survival Methods – Fish Camo: Students will be able to demonstrate how both predator fish and prey fish have adapted their body colors in order to avoid being eaten and to avoid their prey seeing them when they are hunting. They will observe the fish in the aquariums to see how this works in nature. They will demonstrate knowledge both verbally and by displaying the concept through designing a camouflage pattern on a fish that comes to life in the virtual aquarium.
Environmental Chemistry – Should That Be In the Water? Students will understand the effects that the four most common pollutants have on our lakes and streams. They will become scientific investigators and perform experiments by putting different pollutants into water, making observations, and reporting their findings in both drawings and words. Real-life connection questions are answered based on their observations.
Over and Under the Pond: This literature-based lesson teaches students about the ecosystem of a pond through the book Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner. Students learn about different animals and the food web that exist around ponds. Students will make predictions on how the pond life may change if pollution enters the pond and harms some of the living organisms in the pond.
Soil Search: This pH based lesson gives students the opportunity to learn more about what pH is and why knowing the pH is important to growing plants and the health of the lake. Students will test the pH of water samples and then critically think about what types of land and aquatic plants could successfully grow in that level of pH.
Minnow Minnow: Students will be able to identify the external structures of a fish and how those features help support survival. They will complete a mixed media representation of a fish that they will get to see projected in the Virtual Aquarium. Students will also construct an argument as to why some animals live in groups, and why that can support survival.