Fifth Grade Immerses Themselves in Bay Studies at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

On Wednesday, May 30, the Indian Creek School (ICS) Class of 2025 enjoyed a hands-on, inquiry-based field trip to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)'s outdoor classrooms and microscope laboratory.  At SERC, the students experienced the “Shoreline Connections” lesson, which consisted of four activity stations: habitat, plankton, seining and storm water runoff and land management.Throughout these activities students were tasked with answering questions like “What is water quality and how does it affect life in the Bay?” Each station focused on key vocabulary words (e.g. water quality, bio-indicators, habitat, dissolved oxygen) to help them answer activity questions. They learned the meaning of the word and its relationship to the main question though hands-on activities that model what SERC researchers do (e.g. seining, running water tests, sorting benthic invertebrates, using a microscope to look at plankton). After a beautiful day learning about the bay ecosystem in their own backyards, students enjoyed a hike through the bay habitat. Thank you to the people at SERC for teaching the ICS fifth grade students about good ecological citizenship and stewardship.