Science Barge
Green Education Program Activity Choices

If you are booking a 2-3 hour program at the Science Barge, your group will be participating in an on-board activity of your choosing.  These programs are geared to specific age groups and complement NYS curriculum.  We can always customize your program somewhat, or, feel free to select a program not specified for your grade level. Below you will find detailed descriptions of our offered programs, as well as a downloadable copy.

Download our 2013 Science Barge Brochure

Download a printable copy of our On-Board Activities

Elementary Grades 1-2  (All NEW for 2013!)

Scope and Sequence Standards

Grade One

  • Interactions between living things and their environment
  • Food Production and Energy for Life
  • Diversity and Adaptation

Grade Two

  • Animals and Plants in Their Environment
  • Interactions of Air, Water and Land

Plant Animal Interactions: Scavenger Hunt & Garden Friend or Foe Game

  • Recommended for 90 Minute program (30 minute tour of barge with scavenger hunt + 30 minute bee role play + 30 minute garden game activity)
  • During their tour, students will take clues from their tour guides to fill in their coloring sheets about plant-animal interactions.  Examples will include: ladybugs as predators, worms as decomposers, caterpillars eating crop leaves, and bees as pollinators.  After the tour, students will have an opportunity to share their findings and color in their discoveries.
  • Students will learn how honeybees are so important, and do a roleplay to discover the many “hats” a worker bee wears in her lifetime and how queen bees, worker bees, and drones all differ.  Then we’ll all do a honeybee DANCE to learn how they communicate to each other in the hive.
  • Students will play as 3 teams, trying to create the best organic garden to help their crops grow by selecting commonly found organisms from pictures on a game board.  Students will quickly learn that some are beneficial to the garden (ladybug, dragonfly, worm); some are neutral (spittle bug, millipede); and some are detrimental (vine weevil, cabbage moth caterpillar, rabbit).

Food/Botany/Planting: Plant Part Chart, Basil Planting, and Food for Life Game 

  • Recommended for 90 Minute program (30 minute tour of barge + 30 minute planting activity + 30 minute Food for Life Game)
  • Students will discover that they EAT examples of each plant part by assembling a plant part chart.
  • Students will get the opportunity to become urban farmers by growing their own hydroponic basil that they will care for at home or at school.
  • Students will learn to appreciate the importance of a varied and balanced diet by playing a Food for Life.  First students will learn that different types of crops/food give different vitamins and nutrients that will help you become smarter, faster, or have better endurance.  Then teams will have to assemble their three different dinner plates using different fruits and vegetable combinations: one for sprinter; one for a doctor; and one for an astronaut.

Biodiversity: Habitat Relay & Food Web Twister 

  • Recommended as a 90 minute program (30 minute tour of barge + 60 minute biodiversity activities)
  • Students will construct their own Food Chains using predators, prey animals, insectivores, and plants.  Students will discover that the source of all energy for plants and animals is the Sun.
  • Students will learn about different habitats and biomes (Desert, Rainforest, Temperate Forest, and Grasslands) and their associated biodiversity by playing the Habitat Relay Race.  Two teams will race to match up different animals to their appropriate biome.

Elementary Grades 3-5

Scope and Sequence Standards

Grade Three

  • Plant and Animal Adaptations
  • Matter
  • Energy

Grade Four

  • Animals and Plants in Their Environment
  • Interactions of Air, Water and Land

Grade Five

  • Exploring Ecosystems
  • The Nature of Science
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Earth Science

Plant Animal Interactions: Scavenger Hunt & Garden Friend or Foe Game  **New for 2013**

  • Students will form teams to fill in their scavenger hunt without the aid of their chaperones.  They will have to find exampled around the barge of how plants and animals interact in symbiosis (aquaponics), parasitism (carnivorous plants), mutualisms (pollination) and antagonisms (herbivory).
  • Students will play as 3 teams, trying to create the best organic garden to help their crops grow by selecting commonly found organisms from pictures on a game board.  Students will quickly learn that some are beneficial to the garden (ladybug, dragonfly, worm); some are neutral (spittle bug, millipede); and some are detrimental (vine weevil, cabbage moth caterpillar, rabbit).

Biodiversity: Habitat Relay & Food Web Twister

  • Students will learn about different habitats and biomes (Desert, Rainforest, Temperate Forest, and Grasslands) and their associated biodiversity by playing the Habitat Relay Race.  Two teams will race to match up different animals to their appropriate biome.
  • Students will begin to answer the basic question, “What is food?” Students will participate in our Food Web Twister activity with each student playing the role of a producer, consumer or decomposer within the Hudson River estuary. Students will gain knowledge regarding the relationships between organisms and will parallel that knowledge with a growing understanding of food and food waste.

Food/Botany/Planting

  • Students will first split into teams and collaborate to draw and label their own plant-part chart.
  • Students will discover that they EAT examples of the different plant parts by assembling a plant part chart using different vegetables and fruits.
  • Students will get the opportunity to become urban farmers by growing their own hydroponic basil that they will care for at home or at school. Students will learn to appreciate the importance of a varied and balanced diet and will gain a sense of environmental stewardship by growing and caring for their plants.

Carbon Footprint: Hungry Planet + How Many Miles are on my Menu?

  • Students will examine 3 different households from around the planet, using a map to find and describe the geographic location of each country depicted.  Then students will make observations about: (1) the size of the family, (2) the diversity and nutrition in the food, (3) the amount of food eaten in a week, and (4) the amount of packaging and processing of the food shown.  Students will then be encouraged to draw conclusions about the food available in those regions, the ability to grow food, and how healthy their diet is.
  • Students will be encouraged to consider their impact on the environment by discussing how food moves around. Students will use their math and geography skills to complete our “How Many Miles are on my Menu?” worksheet and activity. Students will incorporate these lessons into their considerations of future food choices.

Climate Change: Greenhouse Effect Role Play

  • With the unique backdrop of our greenhouse as a case study, students will act out the greenhouse effect as “heat” and “greenhouse gases”(much like Red Rover Red Rover) and discover how it contributes to global warming.  They will identify common sources of greenhouse gas emissions and define stewardship.
  • Looking at the “Model Green Home,” students will consider ways to curb their own emissions at home, and leave with an Energy Conservation Action Sheet.

 

Intermediate Grades 6-8

Scope and Sequence Standards

Grade Six

  • Simple and Complex Machines
  • Interdependence

Grade Seven

  • Interactions Between Matter and Energy
  • Dynamic Equilibrium: The Human Animal

Grade Eight

  • Humans and Their Environment: Needs and Tradeoffs

Scientific Method: Water Quality Puzzler

  • Students will examine each step of the scientific method and will use their scientific skills to hypothesize, experiment and share data with their peers regarding sampling and testing the water characteristics of the Hudson River, rainwater and nutrient rich water from our aquaponics system. Students will gain an intimate knowledge of the ecology of estuaries, acid rain and the nitrogen cycle.

Carbon Footprint: Hungry Planet & How Many Miles

  • Students will examine 3 different households from around the planet, using a map to find and describe the geographic location of each country depicted.  Then students will make observations about: (1) the size of the family, (2) the diversity and nutrition in the food, (3) the amount of food eaten in a week, and (4) the amount of packaging and processing of the food shown.  Students will then be encouraged to draw conclusions about the food available in those regions, the ability to grow food, and how healthy their diet is.
  • Students will be encouraged to consider their impact on the environment by discussing how food moves around. Students will use their math and geography skills to complete our “How Many Miles are on my Menu?” worksheet and activity. The intermediate sheet will include not only food transportation miles, but also processing/packaging miles” and “meat miles” (extra miles to ship feed to lots where cattle or chicken are raised on grains). Students will incorporate these lessons into their considerations of future food choices.

Sharing One Earth: The Tragedy of the Commons and Sustainability **New for 2013**

  • Students will form teams of 3-4 and participate in several rounds of role-play regarding sustainability in the fishing industry.  Each consecutive round will involve a change to the industry (ie: technological advances, regulation changes, or the ability of some groups to move into international waters) that will make it easier or harder for some groups to fulfill their survival needs.  At the end of each round, we’ll discuss how the changes to the industry affected both the fish breeding populations and the success of the local people, and their sustainability.
  • After the activity is over, students will discuss the concept of “The Tragedy of the Commons” and how advancements in technology sometimes have severe consequences to broader ecology and long-term sustainability.

Energy, Climate Change, and You: **New for 2013**

  • Students will learn about the history and evolution of energy production, what electricity is, and how fossil fuel burning contributions to global climate change.  Using a propane lighter and an eliopile, we will demonstrate how fuels are burned to boil water to create steam-powered spinning generators.  To illustrate what electricity is, students will use magnets to move electrons in an iron rod to pick up paper clips.  Then they’ll make a circuit using a battery, copper wiring, and an iron nail to create a temporary magnet.
  • Students will discuss climate change and how it affects food production, health, and the environment.
  • Students will learn more about Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation by splitting into teams; each team will choose “five features to energy savings” for our “Model Green Home.”  We’ll tally up the energy savings and determine a winner.

 

High School Grades 9-12

Scope and Sequence Standards (*new scope offerings)

Chemistry

  • The Physical Nature of Matter
  • *Chemical reactions (Photosynthesis)

Earth Science

  • Maps and Measurement
  • Climate

Living Environment

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Ecology
  • Human Influences on the Environment
  • *Water, Carbon, and Nitrogen Cycle

*Social Studies

  • Cultural differences
  • Agriculture around the world

Physics

  • Energy
  • Projects and Problem Based Learning Activities

Earth’s Cycles and Processes: Photosynthesis, The Water Cycle, and The Nitrogen Cycle **New for 2013**

  • Students will learn about the chemical reaction of photosynthesis by collaboratively using models of carbon dioxide and water molecules to make a glucose molecule and oxygen. 
  • Students will play our N-Around the World game to learn about how nitrogen cycles through the agricultural system.  We’ll discuss the importance of soil nitrogen to crop production and the difference between artificial sources of nitrogen (fertilizers) and organic sources (compost, manure) and their affects on the environment (eutrophication, etc.)
  • Students will help make a class worm-composter to identify organic forms of nitrogen, and other plant nutrients.
  • Students will learn more about how the carbon cycle and water cycle are affected by industrialization, non-point pollution and climate change.

Sharing One Earth: The Tragedy of the Commons and Sustainability **New for 2013**

  • Students will form teams of 3-4 and participate in several rounds of role-play regarding sustainability in the fishing industry.  Each consecutive round will involve a change to the industry (ie: technological advances, regulation changes, or the ability of some groups to move into international waters) that will make it easier or harder for some groups to fulfill their survival needs.  At the end of each round, we’ll discuss how the changes to the industry affected both the fish breeding populations and the success of the local people, and their sustainability.
  • After the activity is over, students will discuss the concept of “The Tragedy of the Commons” and how advancements in technology sometimes have severe consequences to broader ecology and long-term sustainability.

Energy, Climate Change, and You: **New for 2013**

  • Students will learn about the history and evolution of energy production, what electricity is, and how fossil fuel burning contributions to global climate change.  Using a propane lighter and an eliopile, we will demonstrate how fuels are burned to boil water to create steam-powered spinning generators.  To illustrate what electricity is, students will use magnets to move electrons in an iron rod to pick up paper clips.  Then they’ll make a circuit using a battery, copper wiring, and an iron nail to create a temporary magnet.
  • Students will discuss climate change and how it affects food production, health, and the environment.
  • Students will learn more about Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation by splitting into teams; each team will choose “five features to energy savings” for our “Model Green Home.”  We’ll tally up the energy savings and determine a winner.

 Scientific Method: Water Quality Puzzler

  • Students will examine each step of the scientific method and will use their skills to hypothesize, experiment and share data with their peers regarding sampling and testing the water characteristics of the Hudson River, rainwater and nutrient rich water from our aquaponics system.
  • Students must work in teams to discover the point of origin of their water samples which will require a degree of insight into ecology and the process of elimination. Students will gain an intimate knowledge of the ecology of estuaries, acid rain and the nitrogen cycle.

Carbon Footprint: Hungry Planet & The Story of Food

  • Students will be encouraged to consider their impact on the environment by exploring the story of food from production to consumption.  They will examine industrial and local food systems critically and compare the impacts of each system on people and the environment.
  • Students will examine food labels & packages to glean information on ingredients, production methods, origin, and waste.  Working in teams, students will use the combined knowledge gained from their examination of both food systems and labels to creatively illustrate the story of a food item from “farm to fork”.

Green Design Challenge + Biomimicry **Updated for 2013**

  • Students will learn how some of the greatest technological and design dilemmas – from self-cleaning paints to passive-cooling buildings – have been solved by mimicking nature’s solutions.  This is called Biomimicry!
  • Students will be given the opportunity to examine green design and green building techniques by learning more about sustainable materials and easy ways to green their homes.
  • Students will be asked to work in small groups to complete our Green Design Challenge where they must creatively come up with ways to design attractions or individual buildings that align with particular sustainable design parameters. Students will be encouraged to use their imagination and will be invited to share their designs with their peers.