Have you enjoyed learning about sea turtles each week? Have you debated using the lessons with your students? Recently the Aquarium hosted a teacher training workshop to give teachers more confidence in using sea turtles to teach STEM.
We started by sharing information about why sea turtles are different. You can do this with your class using the lesson Draw a Turtle. The teachers helped with this activity by dressing up as different types of turtles.
Once everyone was confident in their knowledge of turtles, we moved on to building sea turtles using the lesson Build Your Own Hatchling. These turtles can be used in several lessons throughout the curriculum. You can tell it took a lot of concentration to get the turtles to stay together:
But the results were adorable:
Next the group organized sea turtle life cycles using the Sea Turtle Timeline. Following the life cycle, the teachers learned how to become part of a sea turtle nesting group. As part of their responsibilities, the teams had to use their engineering skills to build sea turtle nest covers in the Nest Protection activity. The results were as varied as our rock turtles:
Watch this video of some of our teachers explaining how their nest cover works:
In the afternoon we had an opportunity to watch our green sea turtle, Shelldon, feed:
You, too, can watch Shelldon here:
We finished up by listening to Womble’s Tale. We also made public service announcements for students to encourage people to use less plastic and hold on to their balloons!
If you would like to join us for a fantastic day of fun and learning at an upcoming workshops, you have several opportunities.
When: Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island, Manteo, NC
When: Saturday, March 14 from 9:00-12:00 PM
Location: Discovery Place, Charlotte, NC
When: Saturday, April 18 from 9:00-12:00 PM
Location: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences- Whiteville, NC
Registration: Contact Meghan Barron at Meghan.Barron@naturalsciences.org or 910.914.4185
Our turtles were excited to meet so many teachers eager to share their turtle knowledge to teach STEM in their classes soon. This week Turtle A is 13.1 cm long and weighs 389.9 grams. Turtle B is 13.8 cm and weighs 452.4 grams. Not sure what to do with this weight and length? Learn more in our Hatchling to Yearling lesson plan.
A new challenge this week is to turn those numbers into social math! Social math is where we take numbers that are hard to understand, like 389.9 grams, and change them into something easier to understand. This week I converted the weight of our turtles into the weight of Conversation Hearts for Valentine’s Day! Since 12 Conversation Hearts weigh 15 grams, I was able to calculate that Turtle A weighs the same as about 312 Conversation Hearts and Turtle B weighs about the same as 362 Conversation Hearts! That’s a lot of hearts! Since a small box of Conversation Hearts contains about 24 hearts, Turtle A would weigh about the same as 13 boxes of Conversation Hearts and Turtle B would weigh about the same as 15 boxes. Can you think of some other social math that we can use to understand how much the turtles weigh? Share your social math in the comments!
If you want to continue with the Valentine’s Day theme, you can use the activity Sea Turtle Promises. In this lesson you will write love letters to our turtles and tell them how you will help protect them.
We are also very excited to introduce a brand new lesson plan this week: Sea Turtle Fractions! This activity will help you review fractions with your students using sea turtles and other ocean creatures! Look for additional fraction worksheets coming soon!