Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Afterschool Marine Science Progam: Plankton Lab and Stone Crabs!

Yesterday was the second class of my afterschool marine science program for migrant students on Marco Island. The theme this week was plankton. Besides discussing the importance of plankton to marine life and humans, students had the opportunity to examine phyto and zooplankton up close with microscopes. Although they had some difficulty using the microscopes, they were able to identify some copepods, barnacle naupli, and crab zoea. Following the microscope work, we did an activity called "Fashion a Phyto (Zoo) Plankton". The students, working in groups, created their own imaginary plankton species using art supplies. They had to choose from a variety of features to incorporate into their critter, and when finished, explain how their species was adapted to living in a marine environment. I was very impressed with their designs and stories. Finally, to illustrate the importance of plankton to our local fisheries, the students got to sample some stone crab claws! While there were a few who didn't care for them, I think they were a huge hit. Although they were familiar with what the adult crabs looked like, they weren't aware that they start off as plankton as does a lot of our seafood. Enjoy the pictures!

Microscope work to identify plankton

A very creative example of a chained species of plankton
One of the features of this plankton species is that it released toxins into the water to kill its prey.

They can't even take a break from their stone crab claws to smile!!!

Watching the students try and crack their claws was entertaining!

No comments:

Post a Comment