Activities range from learning about tubeworms to collecting particles in the ocean.
Erin Ellis has participated in several local elementary
school science nights in the Seattle area during the school years of 2008 and
2009. During science night, she runs a science
booth in which hundreds of elementary school students and their parents learn
more about oceanography. Erin designed a
poster that explains where tube worms live (hydrothermal vents) and tube worm physiology. After learning about tube worms, students
then build their own tube worms using plastic straws, pipe-cleaners, glitter,
Erin has also taught students about how marine organisms eat
during elementary school science night.
In the ocean, particles come in many different sizes, and organisms have
developed different appendages and techniques to consume these particles. To model this, Erin uses candy of different
sizes to represent particles. The "appendages"
range from nets to forks to tweezers.
Students are then assigned to a certain type of particle size, and they
have to come up with the best method to capture only that type of particle
using the available tools. This is often
one of the most popular activities during science night. We are a little bit worried it has to do with
the candy rather than an inherent interest in zooplankton feeding behavior...