To the WDC Community,
I want to thank you so much for your support of our education program when you cleared WDC’s Amazon Wishlist for Giving Tuesday. We are so happy to report that we completely cleared our list which had a total value of $1,240.47 and raised an additional $680. With the remaining funds, we were able to purchase containers to easily transport our new education supplies when we bring them to schools!
In our Wishlist, we asked for 15 microscopes to use during our ‘Green Whale’ program where students learn about the relationship between plankton and whales, and how they team up to fight climate change. We finally put our brand-new microscopes to the test at the end of January when I took our microscopes to Eastham Elementary for our first plankton lab with 24 third graders.
I started the program by exploring what plankton is and why it's important to the environment and then the students used microscopes to examine water from the harbor that I scooped up the previous day, using the plankton net purchased from the Wishlist. It was so fun to see the light bulb moment as the students connected what they were seeing with what they had learned.
Using my laminator from the Wishlist, I created guides of the different species of plankton they might find so the students were able to match what they were seeing through the microscope to the plankton guide.
We finished with an activity where we built a food web using tennis balls and rope which we received from the Wishlist. The full circle moment allows the students to see why plankton, a teeny creature that feeds massive animals, is so vital to our ecosystem. As one of the classes was leaving for the day, one of the students said to me “I felt like a scientist today!”
Your support of our education program means so much to us. We strive to increase students’ science literacy and inspire them to be the next generation of environmental advocates for whales, dolphins and our shared planet.
Here are some photos from our plankton lab so you can see the impact your generosity had to these students, and many more to come.
Jen Kelly, WDC Education Department Chair