5th Graders Learn Valuable Lessons When Oyster Bay Becomes the Classroom
Oyster Bay is a treasure trove of educational opportunities in History, the Arts, and Science. Oyster Bay-East Norwich teachers often get students out of the classroom for hands on learning and eye witness observations of what they discuss in school which bring the textbooks to life.
The Waterfront Center is an environmental education center in Oyster Bay that offers educational and recreational activities to the students in the area. The 5th grade class from the James H. Vernon elementary school visited the center on November 3 and 4, 2016. The goal of this Science unit was to learn how living things depend on each other and their environment for survival. The students explored stations including the open beach station, the salt water marsh station and the touch tank station. All of these stations provided the opportunity to explore and interact with the marine life indigenous to the area.
At the Open Beach station, students caught fish, shrimp and other marine life. They learned how to use a seine net. A seine is a large net used to catch fish. Two people had to use waders and go into the bay and catch fish. They brought the net back to the shore and students got to pick up the fish and bring them to a kiddie pool filled with water. The students were able to observe and identify different schooling fish that are in the harbor. Students witnessed the fish consuming the shrimp that also live in the water to understand how living things depend on each other for survival.
At the salt water marsh station students discovered the importance of estuaries as a nursery, high productive ecosystem and a buffer from civilization. Eager explorers were able to collect samples from the marsh and observe them back at school. Among the samples were worms, oysters, mussels, horseshoe crabs and other creatures that call the marsh their home.
The touch tank station is where students were able to observe and interact with invertebrates, including mollusks and arthropods. Everyone was given the opportunity to hold a horseshoe crab, sea star, spider crab, oyster and a clam.
The Waterfront Center is an educational center that provides a wide array of opportunities for children to both learn and have fun.