Elementary School Science Night

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, and feathers. 

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...