Fourth-graders at Veterans Elementary School have been diving into hands-on science lessons in preparation for a field trip Monday to the Energy and Marine Center in Port Richey.
The lessons help them build background knowledge so they better understand what they will experience on the field trip.
Teacher Jessica Maus reports that the students have built 3-D models of watersheds, experimented with soils and learned about pollution affecting storm water drains. On Friday, they created an estuary using edible materials.
When they arrive at the Energy and Marine Center next week, they will interact with oyster beds, view plankton under microscopes and learn about Florida's mangrove trees, among other activities.
All fourth-graders in Pasco County schools take a field trip to the Energy and Marine Center, which is on a coastal hammock on the Salt Springs Run Estuary.
The center, which is owned by the Pasco County school district, is surrounded by marsh grasses, three species of mangroves and oyster bars.
According to the center's website, frequent visitors include raccoons, foxes, armadillos, marsh hares, marsh periwinkle snails, egrets, herons, stingrays, fiddler crabs, turtles, tortoises, dolphins and an occasional manatee.