This month the 5th grade took another look at chemical properties of our ocean’s water. They took readings of pH levels, dissolved oxygen, salinity, ammonia, nitrate, iron, and phosphate. In order to teach the students good data collection protocol as a team we repeated the experiment from last month. This was done to show the students that the ocean is ever changing and that each time data is collected you only get a little peek into the bigger picture. This helps students understand that our ocean is always changing, and why we have to collect data over a long period of time.
Back in the classroom, students paired up to review ecology terms and complete a crossword puzzle. They were shown a diagram of the herring life cycle and they discussed the many things that affect the success of a population. Students were able to discover this firsthand when they became herring themselves through the exciting Herring Life Cycle game! Cones and cards were placed around the gym; students rolled die and traveled from card to card, facing predators and hazards caused by humans while seeking safety in a kelp forest. They enjoyed rolling, sliding, and hopping through their life cycle, but found out that not all herring make it through.