Main Street School fifth-graders became scientists for the day when they collected data about the Hudson River at various stations set up along the river at Matthiessen Park on Sept. 18.
As part of their science study, the students observed the environment to determine the wind’s direction and threw oranges in the water to determine the direction of the water current. They also tested the water’s temperature and turbidity and studied marine life by collecting shells along the shore. In addition, local historian Bob Connick and former high school principal Scott Mosenthal took the students on a journey through the history of the river and region.
“As with anything hands-on, the students are motivated and excited to see up close the things we talked about in class, and that’s really the most powerful type of learning you can do,” teacher Michelle Griffin said.
Griffin said the outdoor classroom experience allowed students to make real-life connections between what they’re learning in the classroom and what they’re doing by the river.
“This is a nice opportunity for them to get to know the river and how it works, and it’s really something that’s in their backyard,” she said. “Whenever they come back by the river, they will have a different perspective and appreciation for it.”
The goal of the study was to teach students the importance of environmental responsibility and the value of understanding their surroundings. The students will continue their studies of the river by sailing aboard the Hudson River Sloop, thanks to a grant from the Irvington Education Foundation.
“Special thanks to all parent volunteers who supported the students throughout the day,” Principal Joyce Chapnick said.