"The Gardens of the Sea"
Basic: Grades K-2
Intermediate: Grades 3-5
Advanced: Grades 6-8
Seaweeds are the garden of the sea. Students see, touch and taste these fascinating marine algae that range from tiny one-celled plants to tall kelps. Seaweeds are used in many of our foods and are vital to the ocean food chain.
The Seaweed Program combines hands-on activities for the students with explanations of the principle characteristics of seaweeds and their role in the marine ecosystem. Samples of many types of seaweeds are collected before the session so that the students can see and touch many different species.
The Seaweed program begins with a discovery session. Students have small bowls with a variety of seaweed samples and are encouraged to study the samples and figure out the differences among them in terms of color, texture and size.
Then, a presentation is given emphasizing these key topics:
- Classification of seaweeds as aquatic plants called algae.
- Comparison of seaweeds with land plants.
- Explanation of Photosynthesis as a source of algae nourishment and the production of excess oxygen.
- Location of various seaweeds in the tidal zones of the seashore.
- Description of the major types of seaweeds – brown, red and green.
- The value of seaweeds in the marine ecosystem including the production of oxygen and as food and shelter for marine animals.
The presentation is interactive and uses Q &A to involve the students.