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Step One

Choose your Location
Our unique location allows students to explore the marine environment in several ways. Programs can utilize the facilities during field trips at the WaterFront Center or can be adjusted for the classroom-based experiences.

Step Two

Choose your Topic(s)
We offer a wide variety of STEM & Marine Science activities that can be modified to fit your curriculum needs. Visit TheWaterFrontCenter.org/education for more detailed descriptions of our offerings, equipment, and experiences.

Step Three

Schedule your Program
From Horseshoe Crab Tagging at 8pm to mid-afternoon sailing aboard the Christeen, scheduling is flexible to meet your needs. Field trips and in-school programs can range from 60 minutes in length to multi-day programs. Learning has no limit at the WaterFront Center!
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All About Turtles

Recommended Grades : Pre-K - 1

All About Turtles

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

The birthplace of a sea turtle is also the site of its future nesting grounds. Storytime, turtle pictures, & a puppet craft are all included in this activity. Just don’t forget the crayons!



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Alternative Energy

Recommended Grades : 7 – 12

Alternative Energy

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

A game and graphing activity to teach students about the depletion of fossil fuel resources. This kit also explains how changing rates of energy use and renewable resources can affect the future.

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Anemometers

Recommended Grades : 3 - 8

Anemometers

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Students get to design and test their own!

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Biology of Plankton

Recommended Grades : 7 – 12

Biology of Plankton

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Learn about the tiny organisms that represent the base of the marine food chain. This is a comprehensive program that not only explores the importance of plankton, but also includes the hands-on collecting and classifying. Students utilize scientific equipment to collect and observe specimens, and discuss the symbiotic relationship between plankton and water quality.



Includes: Plankton tow - Water quality testing - Microscope observation and classification



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Biomimicry

Recommended Grades : 7 – 12

Biomimicry

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

How can we use nature to inspire new innovative technologies? Wind turbines, bottom paint, imaging devices, cars, and even sensors have been designed from taking a closer look at aquatic creatures. This lesson will show us how this process works - and let students create our own new inventions!

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Buoyancy Challenge & Gutter Boat Races

Recommended Grades : 3 – 6

Buoyancy Challenge & Gutter Boat Races

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

How much weight can your clay boat hold before sinking? Can it beat other boats in a downwind challenge for speed? It’s testing time!

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Camouflage

Recommended Grades : 1 - 2

Camouflage

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

What is camouflage? We will explore different examples of marine camouflage. Then, students will be challenged to find fish hidden around the classroom. Additional templates so students can color their own fish are also included.

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Chromatography Sleuth

Recommended Grades : 3 – 8

Chromatography Sleuth

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Who wrote the ransom note? Use the technique of paper chromatography to solve the mystery and learn how and why scientists use various chromatography techniques. This lesson introduces the term “capillary action”.

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Core Sampling Kit

Recommended Grades : 5 - 8

Core Sampling Kit

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

How do scientists take core samples? Let’s try it out on our own mini model and learn about the different particle sizes of sediments!

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Davy Jones/ Layered Ocean

Recommended Grades : 7 – 12

Davy Jones/ Layered Ocean

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Have you heard the legends? Is it possible to have two distinct layers of water that allow for objects to float on the surface and middle of the water column, as well as sink to the bottom? Students will complete a challenge which focuses on water density

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Design-A-Fish

Recommended Grades : 6 – 12

Design-A-Fish

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Did you know that a fish’s body shape, fins, mouth placement, and coloring provide clues about where it spends its time, what it eats, and more? Let’s take a closer look at our finned friends in West Harbor and use our new-found knowledge to design new species!

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Dichotomous Keys

Recommended Grades : 6 – 12

Dichotomous Keys

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

This activity teaches what a dichotomous key is, how to use it, and provides students with an opportunity to design their own! The main theme is turtles, but this activity contains supplemental worksheets for additional practice, including a nautical themed one about boats!.

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Getting Your Bearings

Recommended Grades : 3 – 12

Getting Your Bearings

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Here we introduce/ review how a compass is used as well as explain the three norths: true, magnetic, and grid. We then transition into an outdoor scavenger hunt using our compass skills! We are also equipped to discuss bearing triangulation and dead reckoning.

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Harbor Habitats (Estuary Exploration & Ecology)

Recommended Grades : Pre-K - 6/ 7 - 12

Harbor Habitats (Estuary Exploration & Ecology)

Available Locations : FieldTrip

Three significant habitats exist at our site: fresh water, salt water, and marsh. Learn the important role each one plays individually and collectively in our marine ecosystem.  Discover what plants and animals make these habitats their homes by means of seining, sniggling, marsh exploration, and a touch tank in this outdoor, hands-on inquiry based program. Older students can perform a more in-depth study of an estuarine ecosystem. Explore the area where freshwater flowing from the land meets salt water from the sea. Working in cooperative learning groups, students rotate through different stations and locations while examining, recording and comparing the water quality, geology and biodiversity of each site using techniques and equipment used for research and environmental assessment.

Can include: Seining - Quadrat counts - Beach profile to examine deposition/erosion - Tidal flow examination - Water quality testing - Stream flow rate - Sedimentation - population

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Hermit Crabs

Recommended Grades :

Pre-K - 3

Hermit Crabs

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Hermit crabs are fascinating creatures! When a hermit crab outgrows its shell, it must leave it and find a larger one. Students learn about the life of a hermit crab from listening to a story, meeting a hermit crab, and making a craft. Using their new knowledge, children identify the two different species of hermit crabs found in our local waters.

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Hidden Messages

Recommended Grades : 3 - 8

Hidden Messages

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

The Culper Ring was a spy organization that operated throughout New York City and Long Island Sound during the Revolutionary War. Learn about how they sent secret messages, try to solve one, and then create your own. We can even make invisible ink!

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Horseshoe Crab Blood

Recommended Grades : 2 – 8

Horseshoe Crab Blood

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Students pretend to be in a medical laboratory. They just received a new shipment of a trial vaccine. One sample is ready to be tested but the other one still has bacteria or some harmful contaminant in it. However, the company that sent the samples did not label them correctly; they just say sample A and sample B. The only way you to tell which is which is to see which one will react to the “horseshoe crab blood”.

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Horseshoe Crabs

Recommended Grades : Pre-K – 6

Horseshoe Crabs

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

One of the oldest, gentlest living species of animals found on earth today, horseshoe crabs surprisingly aren’t true crabs at all. While interacting with them hands on, discover interesting facts about this awesome creature that predates the dinosaurs. Learn the important role horseshoe crabs play in the marine ecosystem and in medicine.

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Invasive Species

Recommended Grades : Pre-K - 12

Invasive Species

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

If you have visited the rocky intertidal zone in Long Island Sound and have overturned any rocks, you have undoubtedly seen one or more non-native species. Perhaps the most conspicuous is the Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus. Since its initial discovery near Cape May, NJ in 1998, this prolific crab has spread north and south. Long Island Sound has been described as the “Hemigrapsus hot spot”. In this program, students investigate the ecological problem of invasive species in different marine ecosystems and specifically look at the Asian shore crab. In the classroom, students learn the history of different non-native species around the world and their impact on the new locations they have taken over. During the field trip portion, students collect any species of crab within the two different habitats in the intertidal zone they will be exploring. The follow up program students will sort, compare, and categorize the crabs they collected by size and sex. After all data is collected and recorded students can graph and analyze in hopes of seeing trends. Students will have access to old data to compare. Subject matter and depth are adjusted to grade level and teachers' desires.

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Long Island Sound Formation & Change

Recommended Grades : 5 - 8

Long Island Sound Formation & Change

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

How can glaciers create landforms? What is the difference between deposition, weathering, and erosion? We'll get to learn more as test out different scenarios with our own mini beaches contained within a paint tray.

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Mapping the Seafloor

Recommended Grades : 6 – 12

Mapping the Seafloor

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Why is mapping the seafloor so important? What challenges does a hydrographer face? Students will choose a premade bathymetry box (without looking inside!) as well as “sounding skewers” to determine the depth at designated grid locations. After plotting, students will have the opportunity to open their boxes and compare their chart to the seafloor in the box.

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Marine Education Sails

Recommended Grades : Pre-K - 12

Marine Education Sails

Available Locations : FieldTrip

This program takes place aboard our floating classroom, Christeen. Be part of an unforgettable marine learning experience while hoisting sails and gathering information about our local ecosystem.  Whether your group wants to explore a touch tank or conduct higher-level water quality research, we can meet your specific group goals.

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Microplastics

Recommended Grades : 2 - 7

Microplastics

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Additional pairing options : Dichotomous Keys

Explore what they are and why they are such a problem! Students get to mimic different animals affected by their presence when feeding.

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Mystery Sand

Recommended Grades : 3 - 6

Mystery Sand

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

We’ve captured a pirate, but need to find his treasure… Using the station clues, and a sample of sand from his shoes, can we determine where he last ventured? We will explore grain size, color, size, origin, and beach comparisons.

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Nautical Activity Boxed Sets

Recommended Grades : Variety

Nautical Activity Boxed Sets

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Themes include: Knots, Code Flags, Treasure Hunt, Paper Boats, Parts of the Boat, Right of Way Rules, Sailing Jeopardy & Taboo, Sailing Dictionaries, and Wind Sticks.

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Nudibranchs

Recommended Grades : 3 - 6

Nudibranchs

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Nudibranchs are unique marine sea creatures. There are even some in Long Island Sound. We’ll learn more about them through this interactive, trivia-style BINGO game! There is also an option for students to design their own nudibranchs once they learn more about their anatomy.

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Oil Drilling

Recommended Grades : 6 – 9

Oil Drilling

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

How do geoscientists identify oil reserve sites? What goes into the oil exploration process? Students will find out what a costly endeavor it is by searching for their own oil reserve in a hands-on activity.

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Oil Spill

Recommended Grades : 5 - 8 (Can be done with younger groups if guided.)

Oil Spill

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

What do we do when there’s an oil spill? Is it a difficult process to clean-up? Students get to try their hands the process with a pie-pan-sized spill. Additional materials include handouts and web links.

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Properties of Water

Recommended Grades : 1 - 3

Properties of Water

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Additional pairing options : Chromatography Sleuth

Students learn about the diverse properties of water and how amazing it is through four different hands on activities. Examine adhesive and cohesive properties of water in different challenging events and relate this to daily activities.

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REACH: Decomposition

Recommended Grades : 1 - 12

REACH: Decomposition

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

How long does it take various materials to decompose? Any surprises? In this activity students are provided with a variety of common objects and materials and have to rate how long they take to break down in the marine environment.

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ROV Design

Recommended Grades : 5 – 12

ROV Design

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

ROV stands for “Remotely Operated Vehicle”. These underwater robots are used for exploring the ocean environment, underwater archaeological sites, and more. With a remote control, some propellers, and PVC piping, you too can create and test your own versions!

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Seashells to Sea Creatures

Recommended Grades : Pre-K – 3

Seashells to Sea Creatures

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Additional pairing options : Camouflage

Using their senses to compare and contrast, children learn about the variety of shells at the seashore and the creatures that live in them. Children learn to recognize and identify shells they find based on size, shape, color, and texture. A connection is made between non-living shells and living animals through a touch tank filled with local marine animals.

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Stars of the Sound

Recommended Grades : Pre-K – 3

Stars of the Sound

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Discover the reason why sea stars are not fish and learn about their unique and amazing abilities! Children enjoy listening to a story then get to meet and touch some of our own local “stars.” To reinforce their understanding of this animal’s special adaptation, children create their own sea star craft.

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Station Bay Quadrats

Recommended Grades : 5 – 12

Station Bay Quadrats

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Field trip pairing options : Harbor Habitats (Estuary Exploration & Ecology)

Students will count and record the number and type of each living item found in our model quadrats and use a field guide or local species key to identify organisms. If an organism cannot be identified, they should sketch (or take photos) to be reviewed and identified at a later time.

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Survival Activity

Recommended Grades : 3 - 8

Survival Activity

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Oh no! The team is stranded in the middle of the ocean. What items should we save? This is a team-building activity with rankings from the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Sustainable Fishing

Recommended Grades : 7 - 12

Sustainable Fishing

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Fisheries are complex entities. Fisherman must consider their profits, types of fishing gear, bycatch, and even environmental issues. We’ll play “What’s the Catch?” to discover more about the industry and how it can be made “sustainable”.

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Touch Tank/ Invertebrate Lab

Recommended Grades : Pre-K - 6/ 7 - 12

Touch Tank/ Invertebrate Lab

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Did you know that a sea cucumber will throw-up its insides as a defense mechanism to ward off predators; or that a whelk snail can repair its own shell if it gets damaged? Take a closer look at different invertebrates that inhabit the local waters of Oyster Bay and Long Island Sound. Students will explore different characteristics that help identify species apart and learn about locomotion, feeding behavior and their habitat. Students will be able to observe and hold all of the animals during the program.  Species usually consist of Mollusks, Echinoderms and Arthropods. This kinesthetic program can be adapted to align with current science topics covered in class and teachers’ desires.

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UV Investigation

Recommended Grades : 5 – 9

UV Investigation

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Students design and conduct their own experiment to learn more about UV light - tools include UV meters and UV color-changing beads!

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Water Everywhere

Recommended Grades : 3 - 5

Water Everywhere

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

Learn about the water cycle, water conservation, and weather. Observe the process of condensation first hand, detect the differences between salt water and fresh water, and learn about the adverse effects pollution has on the aquatic environment. A beach clean-up is conducted to model the integrity and responsibility needed to preserve the marine environment.

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Watersheds & Aquifers

Recommended Grades : 6 – 9

Watersheds & Aquifers

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

What is a watershed? Why should we care about watersheds? Based on Project Wet's "Sum of the Parts" activity, we look at what the different parts of a watershed are as well as differences between point- and non-point source pollution.

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Who’s the Culprit?

Recommended Grades : 5 - 8

Who’s the Culprit?

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

What animal is damaging Captain Phillips’ fish: the seals or the spiny dogfish? This lesson is based on actual scientific research that was done in the Gulf of Maine and the NGSS practice “planning and carrying out investigations.

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Wind Module: Land & Sea Breezes

Recommended Grades : 6 – 12

Wind Module: Land & Sea Breezes

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

What is a land or sea breeze? How do they form? Students will use the “building blocks”/ clue cards to try to put all the pieces together. A demonstration of a convection cell is also included!

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Wind Turbines & Generators

Recommended Grades : 5 – 12

Wind Turbines & Generators

Available Locations : FieldTrip / Classroom

What is the difference between a windmill and a wind turbine? What blades are the best for generating the most power from the wind? Where can you put a wind turbine? Why? Students can answer these questions and more by building and testing their own!

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To get more information about The Waterfront Center and our programs, please fill out the simple contact form below.

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