for grades: 8 - 12

Advanced Pond Ecology

The pond is a complex interactive system of food chains, energy transfer and cycles of nutrients that move through the living and non-living components of a dynamic ecosystem.  Your program begins with an interactive discussion of these basic concepts, including the water cycle, gas exchange, and the one-way pathway of energy.  Included in this discussion will be the impact that human activity as well as natural processes can have on aquatic systems.  Students will then be placed in teams to collect data on one of 7 ponds in an authentic science experience.  Their challenge:  to determine the health of the pond’s water quality and ecosystem based on indicator species of macro-invertebrates, pH, dissolved oxygen and nitrate levels, turbidity and temperature.  The program concludes with teams sharing and comparing data as they reach their conclusions.

field trip only (no in-school option)

Program Length:  90 minutes, depending age and group size

  • 20 minute presentation
  • 60 minute pond research study
  • 10 minute summation discussion
  • gift shopping, optional
  • Picnic area available

Program Cost: $150 for up to 24 students. Staff is free. Additional students and adult chaperones $7 each.

Location: Outdoor Discovery Center