Oysters: Nature’s Natural Britta Filter

September 24, 2016 at 9:00 am (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Busy week for the Little V’s.  We’ve engulfed the concept of adapting and how certain traits allow living things to survive depending on the conditions they live in.  By doing this the young scientists created their own fictional bird, incorporating a style of beak, wings, feet, legs, and color that would suite the needs of their environment.  The outline and artwork is complete and will be displayed in the class.  We’re going to tie in some augmented reality tech to this project (which is like virtual reality).  Maybe we could have a gallery night, let me look into that.

Adding Oysters

Filtering Plankton

Oyster

 

This week we also learned about how rough it is to be a sea turtle and the measures they must take to survive.  Students role played in this game of tag as land and sea predators were out to get those selected as the sea turtles.  Turtles had to complete three rounds in the obstacle course, grabbing a food/life token each time.  However, due to the effects humans play on the environment some of those tokens (unbeknownst to the turtles) were microplastics.  When turtles consume these they either choke or disrupt their buoyancy making it difficult if not impossible to dive for food or away from predators.

Sea Turtle Survival

 

Estuaries: Detritus Feeders

Then we revisited how estuaries play a vital role in our ecosystem and local communities.  The Aquaculture Technology Department at the Carteret Community College was more than radical to allow us to borrow some tanks, a few gallons of salt water, filters, plankton, and oysters to demo how these mother earth britta’s filter.  Science fact: one oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.  And I thought I drank alot (of water.  Water folks.  I drink alot of water).  This was definitely a hit.  We loaded one tank with ten oysters, the other with fifty five, poured in the plankton and sat back to observe.  It was amazing to see how fast they cleared the tanks of the murky plankton paste.  Above are the scientists pantomiming detritus predators.  Can you guess which one is a fiddler crab, egret, raccoon, or red drum?

Oyster Filtration

These young minds had indepth observational insight in their journaling today.  Impressed with their outlook on today’s activity.  So what’s next?  Tons.  Literally.  We’ll be “swimming” with whales by the end of October.  Stay tuned.

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Thar She Blows

September 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This week we researched the differences and similarities between ancient and modern day sperm whales (Thanks KidBiz), and we also revamped our comparing skills with the use of whole numbers and fractions for our place value unit.  So why not keep the ball rolling by comparing life size whales of different species?  The scientists spent the afternoon comparing and contrasting modern sperm whales vs narwhals, studying their traits and how they provide advantages for survival.  We are currently in the mix of creating our own bird and/or fish species and will share these in the weeks to come.

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Adaptations

August 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm (School Supplies) (, , , )

Our young scientists explored animal adaptations, focusing on the advantages they provide for each animal.  This morning we read about the necks and legs of giraffes tall and short and the advantage one might play over the other.  Today we investigated how birds, insects, and fish see, and the skin of sharks.  We will further our study throughout the week targeting whale blubber and further the study on shark skin.  Enjoy the pics and thinglink on sea turtles below.

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