Little Vikings Explore the Long Island Sound

Our little Vikings ventured off to SoundWaters earlier this week to explore the treasures of the Long Island Sound. First grade students participated in two hands-on learning experiences that introduced them to local animals and the negative impact of oil spills on the Long Island Sound and beyond.

Little Vikings Explore the Long Island Sound

The class was divided into two groups for simultaneous lessons on each subject, followed by interactive STEM experiments. The first group got up close with live animals, touching and holding the creatures to observe clues about their ways of life in the Long Island Sound. 

“I can’t believe all of these animals are right here,” said Hugo Prince ’33, while pointing at the Sound located just outside the window. “I learned a lot today, but my favorite part was holding the lobster. They have these long antennas to help them find their way in the water. It was so fun!”

The second group did an experiment to study oil spills. Each student was provided with a bin of water with vegetable oil. The students used monopoly money to purchase materials such as soap, pipe cleaners, string, sandwich bags, and sponges to try and separate the oil from the water.

Little Vikings Explore the Long Island Sound

“I used a suction syringe to take the oil out of my water. I had to take my time to make sure I got as much oil out as I could,” said Stella Murphy ’33. “I saw other students using a sponge instead, and that looked like it was working too.” 

The groups alternated classrooms at the end of each lesson to trade experiences. The trip couples with what the students have been learning in the classroom, guided by the driving question in their global studies unit: How do our human actions affect the diversity of coral reefs around the world? 

“This trip has been immersive for students in a variety of areas. They are doing science and math and learning about the history of our area all at once,” said Grade 1 teacher Julia Rachinsky-Wood. “But this is really about them discovering the natural world around them and becoming personally involved as stewards of the environment.”

Little Vikings Explore the Long Island Sound