Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Great Bay Discovery Center

On Wednesday, we went on our second grade field trip to Great Bay Discovery Center. While Great Bay is essentially in our backyard, we learned so much on our trip about estuaries and the plants and animals that live there!




As we walked along the boardwalk, we were given animal print guides to help us figure out the prints along the wood. It seems like many of the animals stepped in some wet paint in their travels!




We spotted a vernal pool that had formed beneath a fallen tree. Usually, these pools are dried up by June, but because of our recent rainfall it was filled again! Many animals such as frogs, dragonflies, and salamanders love these pools for laying eggs, since fish and other predators aren't able to get to them. We even got to see some of the creatures that call these pools home!







We got to see the ospreys in their nest (top of the middle tree) from afar and we got to see an imitation nest up close. One of our friends also got to demonstrate that an osprey's wingspan is about the same as the arm span of a second grader :) 


We also got to see and learn about many different types of trees on our trip! Some were slow-growing and very strong, while others grew high into the sky with massive trunks!



We took a break from walking to make some estuary soup. We learned that it is important to make sure all of the components of our soup are present and healthy so the rest of the food chain stays healthy, too. We learned it is especially important for us, since we are at the top of the food chain and we rely on all of these plants and foods!






Afterwards, we got to explore the shoreline and search for some estuary natives! We found clams, oysters, mussels, small grabs, mud snails, sea lettuce, and some awesome skipping stones :) We were also lucky enough to spot some great blue herons fishing in the bay! 









Then, we went inside to check out some animals in the touch tank and learn a bit more about the horseshoe crab. We also got to see a really cool model of great bay and what it looks like at high tide and low tide!












We had an awesome trip, and we were so excited to talk about all of the things we had learned about when we returned to SMS. Although the bus ride was short, it was just long enough for us to practice some of our songs for our upcoming play :)



Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Great Bay Discovery Center for helping us enhance our learning in such a meaningful way! And thank you to all of our chaperons for dedicating your time to accompanying us on our trip, we hope you had as much fun as we did! 


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