WDS Fifth Grade Discover Marine Life

The fifth year of the WDS discovered the most important organism in marine plankton. Plankton forms the basis of the food web in the ocean and also provides the majority of the oxygen we breathe on Earth. Students learned the difference between phytoplankton (plants) and zooplankton (animals) and saw amazing close-up videos of these microscopic organisms. They took on a fun engineering challenge by designing their own neutrally buoyant plankton. Their creation had to float in the middle of a container of water, without floating to the top or sinking to the bottom.

The fifth-grade students then concluded their study of the marine life of Long Island Sound with a dissection of squid. Squids are fascinating creatures and, alongside octopuses, are the best camouflagers in the animal kingdom. They have special pigment cells called chromatophores that allow them to change color instantly, and they are constantly changing to better adapt to their environment. The students were able to observe the chromatophores, as well as an interesting internal anatomy, as if the squid had a beak that resembled that of a bird! The students particularly enjoyed finding the ink pouch and used it to write their name on a piece of newspaper.

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