STEM Activity of the Week

Hudson River Park's STEM Activity of the Week offers free online resources for students and families to learn about the Hudson River. With many learning opportunities moving to online and virtual platforms, we have started this series to share a hands-on activity that is a fun and engaging way to connect with the Hudson River.

Check back weekly for new lessons focused on Hudson River ecology, Park research and sustainability, and be sure to check out our previous activities.

STEM Activity of the Week:

Build Your Own Plankton

Plankton Building

Did you know that the greenish hue of the Hudson River Estuary is an indicator of health rather than toxicity? Microscopic plants and animals, called plankton, give the River this color. Plankton are the foundation of the Hudson River food web; they provide food and oxygen to a variety of organisms. In this lesson, students will learn about two categories of plankton–– phytoplankton and zooplankton––  and discover where in the Hudson River these tiny organisms are most abundant, and build their own plankton using common household items.

Theme: Plankton; Phytoplankton and Zooplankton; Buoyancy; Food Web; Water Quality
Ages: 8-14
Prep Time: 5 min
Activity Time: 30-40 minutes

Build Your Own Plankton Lesson
Build Your Own Plankton Worksheet
Build Your Own Plankton Worksheet Answer Key
Plankton Identification Guide



Plastics and the Food Web Lesson

Themes: Hudson River Estuary; Native Species; Food Web; Pollution, Plastics

Plastic on the beach in Hudson River Park

Bob the Blob Lesson

Themes: Hudson River Ecology, Fish Anatomy, Form and Function

Bob the Blob Lesson

Life of a Butterfly Lesson

Themes: Butterflies, Life Cycles, Insect Anatomy, Form and Function

Cornelia Cherry Dogwood

Brackish Water Density Lesson

Themes: Hudson River Ecology, Density, Hudson River Geography

Donald Wyman Crab Apple Trees

Monitor Environmental Bacterial Lesson

Themes: Research, Bacteria, Water Quality, Combined Sewer Overflow

Bacteria in Lab

Plastic Rapid Survey Lesson

Themes: Plastic Consumption, Water Quality,
Combined Sewer Overflows, Pollution, Human Impact on the Hudson River Estuary

Clean Up Crew

Graphing Fish Ecology Data 101 Lesson

Themes: Hudson River Ecology, Native Species, Field Science, Species Sampling

Graphing a Fish for Lesson