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Plankton Microscopy

Grades 3–12

Just one drop of Hudson River water holds multitudes of drifting plants and animals called plankton.

In this program, students learn why plankton are vital to the Estuary ecosystem through interactive microscope activities. This program occurs in the Pier 57 Discovery Tank, a climate-controlled indoor space.

This field trip is available to book Tuesdays through Thursdays in November and December.

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Program Objectives

  • Students will be able to define and identify the ecological significance of an Estuary
  • Students will be able to define plankton and identify the difference between phytoplankton and zooplankton
  • Students will learn how to operate microscopes to view microscopic organisms
  • Students will identify plankton’s role in the Hudson River food web

Program Information

  • Student Capacity: 30 students per program
  • Cost: $200 (waivers available upon demonstration of need)
  • Teacher chaperones: One chaperone is required for every 10 students (1:10 ratio) at minimum

Program Activities

  • Watershed Geography and Brackish Water Experiment
  • Plankton 101
  • Plankton Under the Microscope

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 these field trips are so valuable.” 5th Grade Teacher, Queens
  • “I was very pleased with the quality of the programming at HRPK 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 students’ attention spans.” 4th Grade Teacher, Bronx
  • “The program staff at Hudson River Park 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