In this section

Students look at their findings in a microscopeJust one drop of Hudson River water holds multitudes of drifting plants and animals called plankton. Students learn why plankton are vital to the estuary ecosystem through interactive food web and microscope activities.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES (Grade 2)

  • Students will define plankton and learn the basic differences between plant and animal-like plankton
  • Students will learn how different river animals use plankton as a food source through interactive games
  • Students will meet animals that rely on plankton for food in a native Hudson River aquarium
  • Students will use elementary microscopes to view plankton and understand their energy source

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES (Grades 3-5)

  • Students will define plankton and learn the basic differences between plant and animal-like plankton
  • Students will learn how different river animals use plankton as a food source through interactive games
  • Students will create a Hudson River food web based on animals they meet in a native Hudson River aquarium
  • Students will use elementary microscopes to view plankton and understand their energy source

Plankton that resemble shrimpPROGRAM OBJECTIVES (Grades 6-12)

  • Students will define plankton
  • Students will compare, contrast and categorize phytoplankton and zooplankton
  • Students will explore the different physical traits that phytoplankton and zooplankton have adapted to stay within the photic zone
  • Students will design and engineer plankton organisms out of basic craft materials
  • Students will use microscopes to see plankton up close and identify as phyto- or zooplankton

WHAT TEACHERS SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAM

  • “The experience that Hudson River Park provides to my students is a once in a lifetime experience that they will never forget. Many of my students do not leave their neighborhood. It is for this reason, that I feel that these field trips are so valuable.” –5th Grade Teacher, Queens
  • “I was very pleased with the quality of the programming at HRPT and very appreciative of the financial assistance offered to our organization.  It is extremely difficult to find low-cost or free programming in NYC and I was very happy that our students were able to benefit from this program. The staff was very friendly and attentive with our students and the programs were the appropriate length of time for our student’s attention span.” –4th Grade Teacher, Bronx
  • “The program staff at Hudson River Park Trust is absolutely amazing and did an excellent job of teaching content as well as making the experience fun and engaging for everyone involved in the day’s activities. We love the plankton building activity!” –8th Grade Teacher, Manhattan