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Friday, June 01, 2012

State Parks Are Excellent Places for Field Trips

It's time to board the boat for the Floating Water Lab.

When planning a field trip don't forget to take advantage of the wonderful programs your state park may offer.  If you visit their website, they tend to have a link to their calendar with links to their programs.  Summer is a great time to do this because a lot of parks offer hikes, fishing, nature studies, and other such activities for your children.

A couple of weeks ago several children from our homeschool group participated in one of our state park's programs offered to students ages 10 and above.  It was called the Floating Water Lab.  For the cost of $30.00 (which divided among the children was only $3.00 per child), the children spent the whole morning performing science experiments.  It was not only a fun experience for the children, but they gained an abundant amount of knowledge that day!

Floating Water Lab

Children looking down at the water through the boat's opening.
Each kit included an instruction sheet.
The children were divided into pairs of two and given a Hach Water Testing Kit. 

Each child received some water.

The object of the experiments was to test the water.  They tested for: ph, carbon dioxide, alkalinity, and turbidity.

Checking the water's temperature.
Finding out what the dissolved oxygen level was.

They also learned all about photosynthesis.

Testing for carbon dioxide.

Testing pH.
Testing turbidity.
Each child was provided with a data sheet which they filled out.

After the children were done with the Floating Water Lab they then went on a quest to find invertebrate animals.

Children ready to catch some invertebrates.

Scooping up the water.

Adding what is in the net into the dishpan.

Found a snake on the path. 

Filling the dishes with water.
Once the children were done scooping up water, they went back into the classroom to investigate what type of animals they had found.

Pictures of some of the invertebrates that may have been caught.

These girls caught a crayfish.  They learned how to tell its sex.

Tiny invertebrates being added to the dish with droppers.

Looking for the invertebrates.

Sifting the animals out of the container and putting them in the dishes.

Looking at the tiny invertebrates.

The day ended with a picnic surrounded by Kingfishers, Blue Herons, and other fabulous birds.

What kind of state programs have your children participated in?

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