Living near Lake Michigan we were lucky to participate in a field trip aboard a research vessel to test the water quality of both the big lake and a smaller inland lake. Aboard the vessel, the kids learned about invasive species, local sand mining, salmon stocking of the lakes, dredging and had the opportunity to perform several different tests to examine the water. This was hands-on science at its best!
The children were divided into two groups. One group met on the deck and gathered water from both the top and bottom of the lake. They also examined the water to determine clarity, measured temperature and collect soil/sand samples from the bottom of the lake. The group inside the cabin tested the samples for oxygen content, conductivity, turbidity and looked at the samples under a microscope.
This one-of-a-kind field trip was well worth it. Kids learn so much by doing and sometimes we need to remember to step away from the books and investigate.