Through the Eyes of a Lloyd Center Educator / Naturalist ~ Coastal Habitat Field Studies (CFS) by Katie Houseman
The Coastal Field Study field trip to the Lloyd Center allows students of many ages to explore exhibits and habitats as they participate in investigative activities. The field trip reinforces Massachusetts life science teaching standards as they pertain to each grade level. Through hands-on activities students have the opportunity to discover the beauty and fragility of the Southeastern Massachusetts coastline.
Second grade CFS participants focus on plants and animals while exploring coastal habitats. Students engage directly with living things and learn what organisms need to survive. Using maps, students observe Earth’s surface and the process of changing landforms caused by blowing wind and flowing water.
Visiting third and fourth graders discover the great biodiversity in our region. As with our second grade CFS, students experience up-close, exciting encounters with live animals and plants! Third and fourth grade students engage in hands-on, interactive field work to better understand how individual organisms both impact and are impacted by their ecosystems!
For fifth grade students and older, Coastal Field Studies take place on a separate, pristine private property. These students spend the entire day under the sun, immersed in a local coastal ecosystem. They observe the formation and changes of coastal habitats by weather and climate. By observing adaptations first-hand and working to classify organisms, students gain a better understanding of coastal ecology - how coastal organisms interact with and rely on each other and their environment. Discussions of pollution and climate change, while in such an amazing place, foster environmental stewardship.
The Coastal Field Study field trip is one of our most popular and longest-offered programs. At each grade level, Massachusetts curriculum standards are reinforced through applied environmental and life sciences. Students are able to go outside and model the lessons they have learned in the classroom. Science, and science curriculum standards, truly come to life! These field trips are not only fun for the children participating in them, but also for the teachers, chaperones, and staff here at the Lloyd Center. I think I speak for all of us in the education department when I say we truly enjoy going out and exploring coastal habitats with students. Each trip is an incredible new adventure!