Middle School Projects

Projects at the middle school level vary from piecing together the skeleton of a gray whale to student investigations into nearshore ecosystems and the organisms that inhabit them.

Grade 7 - DNA Extraction Lab and Gray Whale Project: In conjunction with the 7th grade human body curriculum, FHLSOP designed a set of complimentary activities. In the first activity, students extract DNA from their own cheek cells, helping them gain a greater understanding of cell components and the structure of DNA. In the second activity, students take part in the San Juan Island Whale Museum's Gray Whale Project, where they assemble a real gray whale skeleton. They engage in a discussion about the forms and functions of skeletons and try to solve the mystery of the whale's death.


Grade 7-Whale Adventure Days: FHLSOP staff teams up with FHMS teachers and The Whale Museum staff to create informative and intriguing activities so students will be savvy investigators as they embark on their annual whalewatching trip the following day. The Whale Adventure Day consists of a full day of interactive activities learning about island bio-geography, orca foraging behavior, orca identification and meeting the Conservation Canine (CK9) Orca Research Team. Meeting a CK9 dog, learning about their job and seeing Max the dog in action is a highlight of the day.


Spring Street International School Grade 7 Science - Benthic Macroinvertebrate Stream Sampling,Sorting & Identifying: Science students are introduced to the importance of watersheds and the procedures for testing their water quality. Students collect data on physical and biological parameters to determine watershed’s stream health. One of the biological parameters used as indicators of stream health are benthic macroinvertebrates (mostly insects, worms, snails and spiders). To understand their ecological importance, students learn about the benthic macroinvertebrate’s (BMIs) taxonomy, morphology, their functional roles and feeding types. In the field, students use kick-nets and sieve trays to collect BMIs. In the lab, students sort and identify these insects, worms, etc. Students then analyze their results” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Rivers, Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fish, Pollution Tolerance Index to determine the health of the watershed’s steam. 


Grade 8 - Student Designed Marine Biology Inquiry Projects: The project begins with an in depth review of local marine invertebrates in the classroom. Students then focus on a particular set of organisms and design and perform an in-class inquiry experiment to prepare them for field projects. In the field, small groups of students participate in 1 of 8 projects that compare marine invertebrate distribution patterns, species diversity and/or species abundance in nearshore marine habitats. Students gather and analyze data to produce a concluding marine biology unit report.


Spring Street International School 8th Grade Science- Know the Kelps and Algae: Students are introduced to the immense variety of kelp and algae found on docks, rocky shores and soft sediment ecosystems in the surrounding waters of San Juan Island. Students learn to identify red, green & brown algae species, make algae herbarium specimens and sample foods and products made with seaweed.





Check out the projects we are doing at the Elementary School level and High School level.