Microscopic Monsters

I delivered my second Ocean Discovery Days kids club this week. It was Microscopic Monsters. We had three local girls joining us for this one and by the look of the smiles at the end I think they had a good day.

We started off the day learning a bit about what plankton actually was, the difference between zooplankton and phytoplankton, and what some of the plankton grows up to be.

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Plankton identification. In the centre is a copepod.

 

We then made our own plankton trawl nets. Its amazing what you can make with some wire, a pain of tights and some old plastic bottles.

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I think they had the most fun doing the plankton trawls. they loved peering into the buckets after each trawl to see what they had caught. You would be surprised how much plankton you can see whizzing around in the water with just the naked eye.

After a couple of trawls we headed back inside to have a closer look under the microscopes.

We found copepods, amphipods, a bristleworm, and crustacea.

After they had got their eye in with the microscopes, and identifying what they had found, the girls made their own plankton identification guides and decorated a mug each with their favourite plankton. They decorated mugs because earlier in the day we learnt that in an average mug of seawater there would be 250 000 plankton.

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