The Pelican’s Nest Science Lab is a 26 year, joint partnership of the Fairhope Educational Enrichment Foundation and the Baldwin County Public School System. Enrichment opportunities are for K-6 students to develop an understanding of the ecology of Mobile Bay and surrounding waters. When students can touch and feel their surroundings, they gain an ownership and an understanding oftheir local ecosystem.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
Pelican’s Nest Science Lab
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 108 South Summit Street Fairhope, Alabama 36532
MAILING ADDRESS: 82 Plantation Point #307 Fairhope, Alabama 36533
K-3 Students focus on the Brown Pelican, a once threatened species, who will lead them on an exploration “Down By The Bay ” at the Fairhope beach to investigate the marine food chain, water quality, animal habitats, map skills, and weather. This adventure allows them to get their feet wet while using dip nets, seine nets and cast nets. Students make observations using compasses and binoculars to understand coastal features and learn map skills and spend time in the lab exploring the live organisms collected at the water’s edge. They will have access to microscopes, magnifying glasses, discovery scopes, compasses, binoculars, and the Ken-A-Vision camera to observe their catch! Let’s go “Down by the Bay!”
Third Grade: ALCOS 3.1, 3.3, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15
Edge of the Bay!
4-6 Students dive deeper into the human impacts on water quality and their connection to the Mobile Bay watershed. They will investigatelife as a scientist and begin their experience by participating in a flash five minute Coastal Clean-up at the bay. Students participate with instruments and equipment used by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientists, to complete five rotations: Plankton Tow, Secchi Disk (water clarity), Cast Net, Seine Net, and Weather Data. They return to the lab and explore the live organisms collected at the edge of the bay along with access to microscopes, magnifying glasses, discovery scopes, compasses, binoculars, and the Ken-A-Vision camera to observe their catch!
In this K-6 lab experience students will learn how local marine organisms survive in our ecosystem. Hands-on experiences provide exploration of the adaptations of the preserved specimens provided by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Students will also complete a STEAM challenge to understand adaptations, living and non-living things, habitats, or our human impact on Mobile Bays watershed. STEAM Challenges provided are determined by the grade level standards and offered November-February.
Teachers and students will join a Google Meet to investigate the ecology of Mobile Bay and the preserved marine specimens provided by the DISL. K-6 Google Meets are provided at various times and dates throughout the school calendar.
One class per slot, maximum 34 students at a time.
Time slots are flexible and can be shifted depending on travel time for each school.
FREE-BCBE students $7.00 facility fee– Private and Homeschool Chaperones are free
Preparing for a Field Experience
Complete the scheduling form for details of field experience or lab.
BCBE Teachers will have access to the Google Classroom for the field experience or lab booked at the PNSL. These Google Classrooms provide the rigor around the relevance piece provided in the PNSL field and lab experiences. Pre-Lab and Post-Lab resources, lessons and student activities are organized to help prepare for the most in-depth experience. The Google Classroom lessons and activities are not required for participation.
Teachers are encouraged to collaborate with their grade level team and the PNSL director to design their own lesson to meet the needs of their students. Field Experiences and Labs are very fluid and can be adjusted to accommodate a particular standard focus or individual community relevance need.