Down by the Bay

Our campers are enjoying their time down by the Bay.

Our Underwater Investigators are starting to get into their Biomimicry Projects. The group was divided into two–some canoed yesterday and will be on land today, and vice versa. On the canoes our Underwater Investigators are exploring the marsh and sloughs that surround MSI, and are learning about the important functions of the wetlands. On land our campers are engineers for the day–they face their first challenge: the Egg Drop. Yesterday’s team had some successes and some cracks in their plan. All of these activities are gearing up for the overnight and their final biomimicry design challenge.

Dropping the plankton net into the bay.

Dropping the plankton net into the bay.

Yesterday our Ocean Explorers took a trip on the Robert G. Brownlee, and our Plankton Pioneers are sailing away today. On the ship our campers catch fish using an otter trawl, sample mud with a Peterson Mud Grab and scoop up plankton to observe under a microscope.

Did you know that plankton are simply living things, that live in the water (any type of natural water!) that cannot swim against a current? You can sample plankton in a bird bath or stream near your own home! To make a plankton net…

you’ll need: pantyhose, wire clothes hanger, small plastic bottle, string.

Assemble: cut one leg out of the panty hose and cut off the foot to create a 3-foot tube of netting. Attach the small plastic bottle to the narrow (foot) end of the netting with a string–this is your collection bottle. Bend the clothes hanger into a circle about 12 inch diameter and attach the open end of the netting to create the open mouth of the net. Use several lengths of string to create a handle at the mouth of the net.

To use: drag your net through a natural body of water and allow the water to flow into the collection bottle. The plankton will get caught on the netting and washed to the bottle at the bottom. Use a glass dish, a light and a magnifying glass (or microscope) to look at the plankton!

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