GFA’s PreK know that Long Island Sound is a special place and they understand the importance of protecting this unique natural resource. With that in mind, the students set out to build an exhibit at Earthplace, a nature center in Westport, to educate visitors about pollution solutions.
At the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to see themselves as Super Scientists, studying the water quality of Long Island Sound. They are presented with a problem: nitrogen pollution. Then, they work through a series of investigations on testing water and mitigating pollution. The focus is on finding solutions, specifically the use of underwater farms specializing in oysters and kelp.
The exhibit ends with practical advice on what kids can do at home to care for the environment. The students also designed the exhibit to enable other children to see themselves as scientists, as capable problem-solvers, and as contributors to a much larger global conversation about environmental stewardship.
The PreK exhibit will be on display throughout the summer at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, Westport.
In creating the exhibit, students merged play with academics:
- They studied science through explorations of Long Island Sound, water quality, and the biology of kelp and oysters.
- Technology was introduced as the children used digital photography and computer applications to design and create the exhibit posters.
- Engineering skills were required to plan and construct the interactive displays. The children had to transfer their knowledge of scientific content to the exhibit design.
- Art was central to this project as children used numerous means of representation (writing, drawing, modeling, sculpting, painting, etc.) to communicate their ideas.
- The children’s mathematical knowledge of shapes, forms and simple geometry informed the design of the exhibit. Additionally, students utilized their math skills (measuring, comparing quantities, etc.) during construction.
For photos of the opening reception, click here.