Classroom Visit at Colossal Academy
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
April 26, 2023
On Wednesday, April 26th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society met with the middle school students of Colossal Academy for the second in a series of classroom visits. After our previous visit when we discussed sources of ocean pollution and Miami’s watershed, we returned to Colossal Academy to talk about a new topic- Plankton! Toni, our Educational Outreach Manager, led a lesson overviewing the two major types of Plankton, their contributions to the food web, and their ecological importance. The students learned about how phytoplankton produce the majority of the earth’s oxygen and fix a large portion of atmospheric carbon, helping to combat climate change! After learning about the importance of plankton, we shifted gears and the students participated in a hands-on activity where they learned about the purpose of quadrats for scientific surveys, and were able to gain experience using one. We used four different shapes of dried pasta to represent 4 “species” and spread them out randomly within the quadrat. The students individually assessed the percent coverage of each square of the quadrat in order to identify the most abundant “species”! We discussed the numerous applications for quadrats such as reef surveys and fish counts. To wrap up our day with Colossal Academy the students got to show off their knowledge with a quiz game based on the zooplankton lesson. It was a pleasure visiting Colossal Academy again and we look forward to our next activity with their students!
Students of Colossal Academy gain a better understanding of the ecological importance of zooplankton and increased familiarity with scientific survey methods such as quadrats.