Puget Sound plankton investigation
Students will take a closer look at marine plankton in a hands-on learning laboratory experience. Students will conduct their own plankton tow, use microscopes to identify phytoplankton and zooplankton and learn how these producers and consumers interact with non-living factors to create an ecosystem at the ocean’s surface. Using what they have learned, students will discuss how micro-plastics introduced by humans can damage the ecosystem.
Marine invertebrate investigation
Meet some of Puget Sound’s marine invertebrates and learn about the wide range of conditions found in their intertidal ecosystem. Through hands-on exploration, students will investigate and discuss the physical and behavioral adaptations that enable different animals to live in the different intertidal zones. A discussion about the characteristics of both the zones and the animals will reveal the importance of leaving animals where we find them on the beach.
Sea otter conservation research investigation—new in February 2016!
Did you know that our conservation scientists conduct research on wild sea otter populations? Join Aquarium instructors in the classroom to find out what it takes to collect data, ask research questions and plan and carry out the investigative field work conducted by our own Curator of Conservation Research, Shawn Larson, on the outer coast of Washington state.
NGSS Practice: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect, Disciplinary Core Idea: MS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Oysters and ocean chemistry investigation—new in February 2016!
Ocean chemistry is rapidly changing as excess carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is absorbed into the water. Students will learn how this affects larval oysters and oyster farmers in Puget Sound, and how Simone Alin, oceanographer at NOAA, helps the farmers monitor ocean chemistry to maintain healthy hatchery conditions. Students will conduct water chemistry tests and analyze graphs of real data from ocean moorings to identify patterns in ocean chemistry and propose solutions to the oyster farmers’ challenges.
NGSS Practice: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Crosscutting Concept: Patterns, Disciplinary Core Idea:MS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Discover the Seattle Aquarium with your students! Guide them through face-toface interactions with marine animals as they explore the exhibits, from the cool waters of Puget Sound to the tropical coral reefs of the Pacific. Make sure to stop by our hands-on tide pools and interact with a diver at one of our interpretive shows.
Seasonal field labs (grades 1–6)
Students learn best about their local environment through hands-on experiences in the outdoors. Our seasonal field labs combine classroom programming with a field experience to foster student learning in our local watershed or at the beach.
Salmon field lab
Available October–November 2015.
In this two-part program, a presentation at the Aquarium or in your classroom is followed by a field program that explores selected sites on the Cedar River when salmon are spawning. Students will look for salmon, investigate salmon habitat and learn how we share the river with the fish.
Beach Field Lab
Available April–June 2016, depending on tides.
In this two-part program, a presentation at the Aquarium or your classroom is followed by a field program. The field program explores a local beach with many opportunities to meet and learn about the sea life revealed at low tide.