Science Teachers’ Summer Adventure

Upper school science teacher, Angie Pleasant is currently enrolled in the K-12 Environmental Education certification program by the NC State Parks.  The certification requires 200 hours of combined instruction, state park visits, and teaching over the next four years. This summer, Angie and upper school science teacher Julie Thompson, traveled to one of the program workshops put on by UNC Chapel Hill. “At Water’s Edge” placed them in the field with research scientists gathering data on marshlands, oyster population and re-nourishment projects, taking core soil samples of the marshlands, and counting populations and density of marsh grasses. They also studied and observed the current shoreline sill initiative in progress up and down the coastline to expand the marshlands.  Needless to say, Angie and Julie returned to MGCS with a lot of ideas!  Here are some excerpts from the journal they kept on their trip.

Day 1

We had the unique opportunity to visit the ocean, maritime forest, freshwater pond, and the sound all here at Trinity Center. Angie and I went to a freshwater pond and searched for macro invertebrates which indicate how healthy the water is…helpful preparation for our 6th grade field lab this spring.

Day 2

During the visit to the Pine Knoll Shores aquarium today, we got to touch numerous rays and a nurse shark. Then we visited a marsh where we observed the effects of rocks on a marsh sill, captured mud samples to see strata, and then practiced fish sample collections.  Can’t wait to share our newly polished skills with students in outdoor labs! This afternoon, we heard from Nat Wilson who discussed aquifers and groundwater with us. We wrapped up the day working on interactive activities for the classroom and student labs.

Day 3

We spent today exploring Hammocks Beach State Park and Jones Island where we participated in activities designed to be incorporated into classrooms. A visit to view the oyster bag sills introduced a discussion on a new type of technology that recycles old oyster shells, places them in a bag, and situates them on shore so that it is covered by high tide but not covered by low tide. These oyster bags encourage new oyster populations. We learned today that one oyster can filter 50 gallons of water per day. What a magnificent design! This afternoon, we learned about online mapping sites perfect for classroom use and did an activity that demonstrated the effects of pollutants that end up in a nearby pond.

Looking forward to exploring creation this year with our upper school students! – Angie & Julie