For those of you unfamiliar with the Out to S.E.A. program, it’s an education sail for students in grades 3 – 5. The program is correlated to South Carolina educational standards, and is a hands-on, inquiry-based approach at teaching.
All of the sails are 2.5 hours in duration and take place aboard our sailing vessel, The Schooner Pride.
We offer two courses for students. These include Scientific Sails and Historical Sails. Below, I’ve outlined what students will experience on a Scientific Sail.
Students will identify organisms native to Charleston harbor through observations and hands-on activities. They will begin by identifying and examining each critter and discuss how these animals’ environmental adaptations allow them to survive in this ecosystem.
• Science 3-2
• Science 4-2
• Science 5-2
• Cast Net
• Aquarium Net
• 2 Opaque containers with lids
• Hand Sanitizer
• Critter Cards
1. Collect any critters from crab trap and put into container with seawater. Cover with lid. Bait trap, if needed.
2. Throw cast net a few times and collect any critters. Put in the second container with seawater and cover with lid. Rinse cast net with water.
2. Collect barnacle/oyster line and add to the second container. Replace lid.
1.Students will look at biotic or living factors in the Charleston Harbor ecosystem.
2. Students will be asked if they have heard the term ecosystem before. If so, each can explain their understanding of an ecosystem and use their answers to create the definition that will be used in the activity.
3. Students will then go through a lecture, explaining that all species of organisms need the same basic things to survive. This is true of plants, animals, and bacteria. To help the students remember these basic elements educational crew will use acronyms.
4. Students will then be asked to think about things that they and other biotic things need to survive.
5. Students will be asked if any of them came up with any answers that began with F. (Ultimately the answer should be Food). Students will be reminded that different organisms have different needs for food but they all need food or energy. Some make it, while some consume it.
6. The same question will be asked with W (Water) and A (Air). Students will be reminded that different organisms need different types of air. Animals need oxygen, but plants need carbon dioxide.
7. Next, students will be asked if any of them came up with words that begin with R (Reproduction), P (Protection), and S (Space or habitat).
8. After this exercise, students will then look at some different critters that are part of the Charleston Harbor ecosystem. Students will receive a brief safety overview, explaining that they should not touch a critter without being told and to handle all living creatures gently.
9. As each critter is presented to students, there will be a discussion that outlines the organism’s food, water, air, reproduction, protection, and space.
10. Students will help identify the critters aboard The Schooner Pride. Educational crewmembers will then share these animals’ . . .
- Adaptations for eating (its diet)
- Sensory organs
- Specialized characteristics/adaptations that make it successful in its habitat
- How it interacts with others in the ecosystem
11. Each student will then receive hand sanitizer before they move on to their next activity.
Post-Sail Clean Up:
- Return critters to the sea, rinse out containers with freshwater.
During this sail, students will learn the following key terminology:
Abiotic Factors: All nonliving parts of an ecosystem, including temperature, water, soil, air, and sunlight
Adaptation: A characteristic that improves an organism’s ability to survive
Physical Adaptation: A body structure an organism has that allows it to meet its needs in its habitat
Behavioral Adaptation: An activity or action that helps an organism survive in its habitat
Animal: An organism that can be made up of many parts that but cannot make its own food. It must get energy from eating plants or other animals
Vertebrates: Animals with a backbone, a protective skin covering, an internal skeleton, muscles, blood that circulates through blood vessels, and lungs or gills.
Invertebrates: Animals that do not have a backbone/internal skeletal structure. Some have an external skeleton or shell. Some do not.
Biotic Factors: All living parts of an ecosystem, including populations and communities of organisms
Communities: A group of different populations of organisms
Ecosystem: All the organisms and their nonliving surrounding environment in a given area
Habitat: A place where an organism or groups of organisms live and obtain the air, food, water, shelter, space, or light needed to survive
Plant: An organism made up of many parts and capable of making its own food Population All members of one kind of organism living in a particular area
Sensory Organs: Any part of the body that receives signals from the environment