Columbus, Ohio Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab have released the first two in a series of virtual field trip experiences for students in grades 4-12. Information is available at go.osu.edu/SLvirtual, along with links to purchase lesson sets as they become available. Individual lessons are priced at $50.
Each field trip includes a video, teacher materials, student worksheets and presentation slides, making it easy to integrate the materials into the classroom. Teachers can also schedule a Chat With A Biologist session after they complete the field trip, giving their students the chance to meet real-life working scientists who study the topics covered in the lesson.
“We wanted to offer teachers and students a chance to still have a version of the Stone Lab field trip experience when travel to the lab isn’t possible for them,” said Dr. Brian Alford, Stone Lab assistant director. “We also hope the lessons will help enhance learning for our field trip groups, either to prepare them for their visit or to review what they learned once they’re back in the classroom.”
The Fish Identification lesson introduces students to information about Lake Erie fish and how to identify them. The set includes video from a Stone Lab fish trawl along with teacher materials, student worksheets and classroom presentations. The accompanying Chat with A Biologist session can be scheduled with Alford, fisheries Extension educator Tory Gabriel, or Stone Lab manager Kevin Hart.
The Benthic Macroinvertebrates field trip focuses on collecting common benthic macroinvertebrates and using them to determine the health of aquatic ecosystems. The set includes video showing collection techniques in a stream, along with teacher materials and worksheets that allow students to estimate the health of an ecosystem. The accompanying Chat with A Biologist session can be scheduled with Alford, Hart, or Ohio Sea Grant Assistant Director Dr. Kristen Fussell.
Other planned topics for virtual field trip lessons include herpetology (reptiles and amphibians such as snakes and frogs), plankton (small and microscopic organisms drifting or floating in water), and measurements of water quality. Each lesson is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, the Ohio Learning Standards for Science and the Model Science Curriculum.
Stay tuned to social media, the Ohio Sea Grant email newsletter and the go.osu.edu/SLvirtual website for announcements as additional virtual field trips are completed. Newsletter sign-up and links to social media channels are available at go.osu.edu/subscribe.
The Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 34 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.