Day In the Life of the Hudson

This Thursday, students in our 1-2 and 8th grade classes spent the day at Staats Island collecting science data as a part of the annual A Day In The Life of the Hudson event. The eighth graders took on the role as science teachers for our younger students, leading them through stations where they learned about aquatic life and conducted experiments to test current speed, water clarity, and dissolved oxygen.
Parker students spent the morning rotating through various learning stations on the river bank. Fish identification always elicits shrieks from both enthusiastic and squeamish students alike. There are always a few students who simply cannot pass up the experience to get up close and personal with their learning.
Three of our 8th graders led younger students through a test to measure the dissolved oxygen in the water. Eighth grade students have the opportunity to hone their skills of data collection and scientific observation by analyzing water samples from the science pond on Parker’s campus in the weeks leading up to this event. Over the course of the morning, you could hear many excited 1-2’s sharing their new knowledge about the “tiny bubbles” in the water and what that means for river health and aquatic life.
Art teacher, Claire Sherwood, helped broaden our studies by incorporating art lessons into our day. Claire brought her easel, complete with an anatomically correct diagram, and taught her students how to draw realistic renderings of fish species that can be found in the Hudson river. This experience, combined with learning about our historic site location at Staats Island, enables students to combine history, art, and science in one incredible interdisciplinary experience.
This year we were incredibly fortunate to be joined by two Parker parents and scientists who enriched our day with their expertise and knowledge. Alene Onion, a DEC scientist, was on hand to give our students the memorable experience of working with an ecologist first hand. Alena brought her multiprobe and showed students how it is used to measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and pH. She also led the students in a beautiful song and interpretive movement routine about the Hudson river. Jesse Hoffman, a botanist, was also on hand to help kids identify plants, and he showed them how to rub soapwort between their hands to produce bubbles.
Participating in A Day in the Life of the Hudson gives students the tools to act as knowledgeable stewards of our natural resources. The scientific work Parker students do here ignites a love for the environment. Students become advocates for clean water from an early age as they see the importance of their own contributions to the state-wide study. Combining science, art, and history in this interdisciplinary experience is exactly what a progressive education filled with purposeful action is all about.
Please click on the photo below to enjoy a private album of photos from our incredible day!