K-2nd Grade Program Activities
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese fish printing that was used by fishermen to record their catches. Students explore the external anatomy of a real fish in order to learn how they live and function in the water, and then create this ancient art with life-like rubber fish molds. The students paint one side of the fish mold with various colors and transfer the pattern onto paper or cloth to take home.
Students explore the treasures of Masonville Cove with bark and leaf rubbings, scavenger hunts, and nature observations with binoculars and magnifying glasses. Although the wetlands are not yet accessible, numerous gardens, a fresh water pond, a short switch-back wooden ramp through a small wooded area, and a bird observation deck are all on site.
Meet the Cove Friends
Students meet and greet our resident inhabitants (various turtles, insects, and crabs), examine our furs, bones, and snake skins on display, and role-play with our animal puppets. Students may also dissect owl pellets or make animal footprint molds from Plaster of Paris.
Watershed and Runoff Models
Hands-on 3D models allow students to explore watershed issues such as run-off from rural and urban landscapes, storm drains, how the watershed affects the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and what students can do to improve their impact on the Bay.
Students make homemade batches of playdough from salt, flour, and water, and then create a 3 dimensional model of Maryland’s topography to take home. This hands-on introduction to the mountains, plateau, and coastal plains of Maryland is then used to model how pollution on the land follows the path of water down into the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake Bay Treasure Box
Students match representative living and non-living “treasures” of the Bay to clues on an ancient treasure map of the Chesapeake Bay.
Students learn the importance of native versus non-native species in Maryland, are introduced to the environmental impact of local versus global food sources, and learn the role of plants in preventing runoff and absorbing extra nutrients that may harm the Chesapeake Bay. Depending upon the time of year, students will either plant in our MCEEC gardens or sow seeds to take home.
Students carry out a number of experiments to determine the unique properties of water. Comparison with another liquid, such as rubbing alcohol, enables the students to investigate cohesion, adhesion, water tension, and the molecular structure of water.
Students participate in a relay race, where they must collect food that is laying/floating in various substrates. In each round, the surviving food multiplies. Teams notice patterns of change as the population of their food source and the process of adaptation are revealed. Students are then asked to create their own super-organisms that is adapted to a particular environment, assigned by the instructor.
Students gain an in-depth knowledge of the water cycle by exploring precipitation, evaporation, and condensation through the use of fun demonstrations and experiments.