The 5th graders traveled to Old Fly Marsh on Friday, September 29. They have been studying wetland ecosystems and related topics, the value of wetlands, the destruction of wetlands. This science unit will also cover the use of magnification tools, including the compound microscope and types of one-celled organisms. Students will culminate this by studying the water and microscopic organisms from Old Fly Marsh.
The field trip was guided by wildlife biologist, Jack Gramlich, and his friend Dave. Students took two different tours of the marsh. One tour focused on discussing the ecosystem within the marsh itself, as well as the surrounding lowland and upland areas. The students were able to make real-life, local connections to the content they have been studying. They were also able to look at the vegetation of the marsh, which is one of the distinguishing factors between the types of wetlands. The other tour focused on how Old Fly Marsh came to be a protected marsh, having been farm fields and an area for cattle to graze for many years. Students were able to see the impact that one animal (beavers) can have on an entire ecosystem. The beavers have been flooding the lowland areas surrounding the marsh, which affects all of the species that live in the lowland areas. Finally, students broke into small groups to test the marsh water for dissolved oxygen levels. It was a great day of learning for all!