The LPOW Lake Model: Hands-on learning for science classrooms in our watershed
The aquatic food web comes alive for kids...
Through fun hands-on activities, the LPOW Lake Model teaches local kids about Lake Pend Oreille’s rich aquatic ecosystem and the amazing food web it sustains.
Each year, we bring the Lake Model into 5th and 6th grade science classrooms to engage students in a captivating presentation about how our lake works, what plants and creatures live in it, and how kids can help keep this awesome ecosystem healthy.
The Lake Model uses goldfish, snails, zooplankton, phytoplankton and plants to create a mini aquatic ecosystem right in the classroom. Student volunteers add all these ecosystem elements to the lake model as we talk about the importance of each link in the aquatic food chain. When students have built their model ecosystem, we then talk about how to keep the lake clean and all its living parts healthy. Through our discussion students will understand how man-made pollution can affect the ecosystem they’ve created. Afterward, we brainstorm the simple ways that kids can help prevent everyday pollution to keep our waterways swimmable, fishable and drinkable for many years to come.
As part of the Lake Model Presentation, students are also introduced to the concept of water quality monitoring by conducting a Dissolved Oxygen test! Using our Hach Dissolved Oxygen Test Kits, students work in small groups to determine how much oxygen is contained within a sample of lake water. While doing this test, students discover why dissolved oxygen is important to plants, fish and the whole aquatic food web. Lastly, they learn how monitoring water quality helps preserve healthy aquatic ecosystems.
LPOW offers Lake Model Presentations in the spring and fall. To schedule a Lake Model Presentation for your classroom, please contact our Program Director, Kelsey Brasseur.