Classes

  • Ocean Seining

Ocean Seining is a fantastic and a very dynamic class taught by Jim Koenig on the beach and in the surf.  Getting kids in the surf pulling a big seine net in order to see what lives where we swim and play provides instant hands on learning opportunities.  There are a lot of squeals   of “Oh my goodness I didn’t know that so many animals swim with me!”. Jim brings 30 years of science and outdoor knowledge to every field trip to make the class grade specific and a lot of fun for everyone. Seining is held at one of our local beaches on one of the Barrier Islands that line the coast of South Carolina.  Educators will bring their students to the beach to help Jim pull a 35 foot long seine net in the surf and Jim will teach students safe handling procedures and he will allow every student to handle creatures and release them safely back into the ocean.  Jim will identify and educate students about each species and it’s importance to our ecosystem. This class is a great learning experience for kids of all ages and seining becomes fun for teachers and parents to see how science and kids thrive in the outdoors. (grades K-12) Topics covered in this class will include: Barrier Islands formation and destruction, tides, erosion, deposition, dunes, intra-tidal zone, sub-tidal zone, epipelagic zone, habitat destruction, pollution, fish behavior and fish anatomy, barrier island formation, species identification and classification.

  • Fish, Crab, Squid, Clam, Whelk, and Oyster Dissections

Jim will come to your classroom with specimens for dissection.  He will demonstrate and instruct proper dissection technique and students will discover the special anatomy of each organism. Classroom dissections: (grades 3-8) Students will participate in dissecting. We will examine anatomical and behavioral adaptations that give each species a competitive advantage to survive.

  • Astronomy

The Astronomy class is a nighttime beach walk where students will learn about the wonders of the stars, planets, and constellations that keep us company throughout our lives. This is a fun filled time under the heavens, walking the beach and discovering the night sky.   (grades 3-8) Students will see stars, planets, moons, constellations, nebulas and anything unique about the sky for the night of observation.  Jim will discuss bioluminescence, animal night vision, night sounds and weather.

  • Treasure Hunt

The Treasure Hunt class will teach students how to use a compass and biological key, sometimes called a dichotomous key.  Students will use these tools as a guide to identify plants, animals, fungus and algae.   Hunting for clues and how to find the hidden treasure will motivate students to learn and succeed in completing the class.                          Animal Tracks: (grades 3-6) Students will learn the parts of a track and discover how tracks reveal animal behavior and movements.  Food Web: (grades 3-5) Students will learn how energy is transferred from producers, consumers, and decomposers by observing and making a food web with local plants and animals.  Introduction to Wetlands: (grades 3-5) Students will make comparisons between common objects and wetland characteristics to learn the ecological functions of wetlands.                   Southeast Trees: (grades 4-7) Students will be introduced to common southeastern trees and will examine tree rings to learn how each facet of a tree enables the tree to function and survive the constant threat of disease and pests in the forest.  Students will study trees and look for signs of disease and tree pest.

  • Bird Watching 

Bird Watching is a class for all ages.  Students will observe and identify birds found as we walk through the forest, dunes and wetlands.   Introduction to Local Bird Identification: (grades 2-8) Students will learn about common southeast birds, how to identify key bird characteristics, and how to use binoculars spotting scopes, popular field guides and new electronic applications for phones, pads, and laptops.  Bird Adaptations: (grades 2-5) Students will observe structural adaptations found among many different bird species and create their own bird, illustrating many of these features.

  • Streams, Watersheds and Wetlands

This class will give every student a comprehensive look at the components of soil and water.  Students will understand the health of of our soil and realize water is crucial to a healthy ecosystem.   Stream Table: (grades 2-12) Using a hands-on stream model students will learn how streams change over time and the relationships between vegetation, sediment, wildlife, and flowing water. What is a Watershed? (grades 2-8) Using a watershed model and student created map, students will learn about a watershed and how land use affects their local watershed and drinking water.  Introduction to Water Quality Monitoring: (grades 4-12) Students will learn about several water quality parameters and how these parameters relate to stream and wetland health. Students will measure pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity.  Water Quality Testing and the Water Cycle: (grades 2-5) Using the scientific method, students will observe stream conditions, make predictions on the quality of the water based on their observations, and use water chemistry kits to collect data including: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity of the water system on site.  Class recommendations: Intro to Water Quality, Stream Table, What is a Watershed.  Students will trace the movement of water as it changes from solid, to liquid, to gas.  Macro invertebrate Sampling: Students will learn how to collect, study, and identify live macro invertebrates.  Based on the types of macro invertebrates present in the stream, they will make predictions about health of the stream.  Class recommendations: Introduction to Macro invertebrates, Stream Table.

  • Plants, Soils and Storm Water

Jim will meet your class at a location close to your school or come to your school to dive into the building blocks of a healthy environment.  Introduction to Plant Identification: (grades 4-8) Students will learn simple botanical terms and apply their knowledge while identifying plant samples using a dichotomous key.
Native Plants and Invasive Plants: (grades 3-6) Students will use clues, photographs and actual plants found on our trip to categorize native and invasive plants and discover why invasive plants are harmful to native plants, animals and humans.
Native American Plant Use: (grades 3-6) Students will learn how native plants found in their schoolyard and local habitats can be used as food, shelter, medicine, and transportation.  Wetland Plant Adaptations: (grades 3-6) Students will closely examine and sketch live Southeast wetland plants to learn more about the special adaptations that help them survive their watery habitat.  Introduction to Storm Water Solutions: (grades 5-8) Students will learn to identify pollutants, read aerial maps, distinguish between pervious and impervious surfaces, calculate runoff and design greener cities.  Schoolyard and Park Soil Testing: (grades 5-8) Students will test schoolyard soil to determine moisture, texture, color, pH, and infiltration rate.

 

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