Investigating the Gulf of Maine’s Changing Ecosystem

On February 11th, sixth graders at China Middle School went to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland to participate in LabVenture. LabVenture is a hands-on, interactive investigation of the changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

At LabVenture, students engaged in scientific discussions about climate change and species’ habitats in the Gulf of Maine. Their aim was to find out what changes are happening in the Gulf of Maine, which species these changes impact, and why it matters to the people of Maine and surrounding areas.

As part of their research, students started by observing plankton under the microscope and classified the different organisms they saw. They then examined live lobsters to measure their size and determine if they were male or female, and they completed a virtual dissection of a black sea bass. Through examining data, students discovered trends in the growth of black sea bass, in changing ocean temperatures, and in the shifting habitats of black sea bass and lobsters.

Students came away from the LabVenture experience with a greater understanding of how changes in climate affect the organisms and people living in and around the Gulf of Maine. #WeAreRSU18

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