Middle School Programs

experiment

Eat or be Eaten (Grade 6)

Investigate the predator/prey relationships within an ecosystem. Deconstruct an owl pellet, construct an interactive Muir Web and observe live predator/prey relationships at the center. Learners will be introduced to the fundamentals of energy transfer as it relates to the food chain and delve into the complicated connections within the food web.

Zoom into Microbiology (Grades 6-8)

Observe the hidden world of microorganisms. Learners will investigate the micro-world by learning to prepare slides and observe protozoa and algae. Uncover the secret lives of these tiny creatures and how they support plant life. Using microscopes to view organisms harvested at ESC, learners will discover how to harvest their own, utilize inquiry-based process skills and tools such as microscopes and slide preparation, explore the unseen kingdoms of life and focus on cell chemistry and homeostasis.

Inquiry Through Experimental Design (Grades 6-8)

Using an experimental design model, learners will test variables to create an alternative to fossil fuels by conducting a series of investigations that manipulate variables to achieve the desired outcome. At the conclusion of this lab, learners will test their design.

Wildlife Forensics (Grade 8)

Engage in the story of how DNA analysis is helping protect endangered wildlife. In this DNA gel electrophoresis lab experience, learners will develop a greater understanding of the scientific protocols and technical skills necessary to conduct this research.

Hydroponics (Grade 8)

ESC offers partnership opportunities for middle schools in our state-of-the-art Hydroponics Research Laboratory. Hydroponic technology allows plants to grow in a nutrient rich solution without soil. Through our partnership with Cornell University Cooperative Extension, students set up and maintain the NDFT (Nutrient Drip Flow Technique) hydroponic systems. Students will propagate seeds, continually monitor water chemistry, collect data on plant growth, and finally harvest and enjoy their bounty. Not only will students be fully immersed in the scientific aspect of hydroponics, they will have the opportunity to connect hydroponics to real-world business and marketing.

During this program, students will set-up and complete a full growing cycle on the hydroponic units. Classes will visit ESC for two hours a week for six non-consecutive weeks. Students will explore the real-world use of hydroponics and its importance in green living.

This partnership program is recommended for highly motivated middle school Living Environment Regents classes.