Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Oceanography Class Today

    We had the opportunity to check out an oceanography class/ lab today and my boys were so excited.  We had no idea what it would be like but we were hopeful that there would be some hands on components; well it did not disappoint!  We had a wonderful couple of hours exploring the estuary and the many things that live there.  We saw several varieties of seaweed, a few different species of crabs, some periwinkle crabs, lots of barnacles, shells, rocks, and all the other wonderful things you often find along the shore.  Alec took part in a water program and we learned how to test for salinity, Ph levels, checking oxygenation levels, and temperature of the water.

Learning about the area we were going to be exploring 


Looking for "treasures" 

Barnacles; Evan informed me that the ones that are "open" are where the animals inside the
barnacles have died and the other ones all have living creatures inside that were hiding from the sun
until the tide came back in.  He learned all that & more from watching Wild Kratts! 

Such a fun way to spend a warm sunny morning! 

Some of our treasures 

Checking out the banded striped legs on the Asian shore crab; learning about
invasive species and how they made it to our area (a little geography lesson!) 

Testing the water 

Comparing their vials with the kits' 
    The second component of our lab today was indoors and all the kids got to go around and touch/ feel 10 different species of wildlife that live in the estuary.  They were asked to use identification cards to determine what they were looking at, figure out how it defends itself, what/ how it eats, how it moves and even if we were looking at a male or female.  We examined a horseshoe crab, channeled whelk, a broad clawed hermit crab, a summer flounder, hard shell clams (quahogs), a clean nose skate, some zooplankton under a microscope, some spider crabs, a striped sea robin & a lobster.  Our teacher was amazing and went around from bin to bin talking to small groups of kids; showing them various features of each of the animals.  She often showed them how to tell if they were male/ female and encouraged them to touch the animals, pointing out various features and how to tell the various species apart from their look alike counterparts.  It was AMAZING!!!  And it did not hurt that we spent the rest of the day hanging out at a lovely beach and playground enjoying all the wonderful sunshine and warm weather.

sea robin 

Checking out the skate 

Looking to see if the spider crab was male or female (it was female)

hermit crab was a bit shy 

Talking to "new homeschoolers" about the flounder 

Learning how to tell the difference between male
and female horseshoe crabs 

checking out the two species of whelk 

It was a full class (and this was only 1/2!) 

Learning more about the horseshoe crab 

getting to see up close how to tell the difference between male and female lobsters 

enjoying our lunch at the park 

They played, watched the boats, and dug in the sand.

Mostly we just visited with one another and enjoyed the weather. 

Big Family Frugal