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NY State Standards
ELA1, MST1, MST2, MST4, MST7
Zebra Mussels, Scientists, & Conservationists
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, NY 12545
Subjects Science, Environmental Education, English/Language Arts
Grades 1st Grade, 2nd Grade
Author Lynn Fordin, Poughkeepsie Day School
An educator from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) introduces students to zebra mussels. Students and teacher create two aquatic habitats -- a test tank with zebra mussels in colored river water and a control tank with colored river water only. The hypothesis is that zebra mussel will filter the water making it clearer. Students observe and take turns recording changes in the tank daily.
In an extension experiment students measure zebra mussels and conduct oxygen and pH testing on the tanks to see how zebra mussels affect these levels. This offers students the opportunity to interact directly with scientists and conservationists. Through presentation and experimentation students learn the foundation for scientific study. Most importantly the students learn that they are a part of this process and that their input matters.