5th grade scientists in the field

girls dissect perch

Belvedere’s fifth-graders explored Kingman Island, dissecting perch; trying to catch fish off a floating dock; collecting water samples to test for pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen; experimenting with water filtration methods, and hiking to the island’s interior to muck around in a vernal pool teeming with tadpoles and other life.

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The trip, provided by Living Classrooms and funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, is part of the oceans unit. This is the third year CBT has funded the trip; Living Classrooms also gives Belvedere a substantial discount because of the school’s Title I status.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 1.53.55 PMHuman responsibility for taking care of the oceans and other aquatic ecosystems is the bottom line of this unit, during which students discuss when and how people should take action. Earlier this year, oceanographer Leslie Smith visited the fifth grade, and the classes have also been working with Fairfax County stream ecologist Danielle Wynne to help monitor streamed trash as part of the county’s Clean Water Act permitting activities. In June, the fifth grade will travel to Mason District Park for its annual stream clean-up.




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