WELCOME TO DISCOVERY BAY!
Here you will find four, easy to complete experiments and crafts for Scouts of all ages, including measuring oceanic animals, learning how fish breathe, creating layers of the ocean, and creating a shark bookmark! When you've completed the Aquatics Academy, make sure to register for Family Adventure Camp!
Have you ever really wondered what it would be like to stand next to a whale? How big is a blue whale in comparison to a small fish? How does it compare to you? Tonight you will learn just how big ocean creatures really are!
What do you think are the longest animals in the ocean? Most people would guess whales, and while whales are the heavyweights, there are a lot of other big species like jellyfish, sharks and even squid.
SIZE ME UP! ACTIVITY
Large outdoor space
To get started, choose 8 different ocean animals below to use in your model.
Then, make a series of signs for each of the animals you choose. Label the signs and add pictures if you want to. Use the printable template, here.
Write on the animal signs how long it is.
Use a measuring tape and an open space (you'll want to go outside!) to make your model of animal lengths. A school yard or a park would be a good spot if you have permission.
Measure each animal's length from 1 central point to compare the lengths of creatures that live in the ocean
Choose at least 8 different animals below to measure in your open area! Want to choose a different animal? Look up how long it is and add it to your model.
Make it more challenging by determining how many of you make up the length of the animal by dividing the length of the animal by your height!
LION'S MANE JELLYFISH
Length: 36.6m (120 ft.)
These long jellyfish can be found in the cooler regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, North Sea and Baltic. They are made up of 94 per cent water!
Length: 33m (108 ft.)
Blue whales may not be the longest, but they are the largest animal to ever live on Earth. They weigh in at an astounding 208 tons.
Length: 24m (78 ft.)
Sperm whales are the largest toothed whale and they are active predators, specializing in eating large squid, big bony fish and sharks.
Length: 18.8m (62 ft.)
Whale sharks are big, yet they eat the tiniest creatures. They feed on little plankton and fish eggs, which they filter feed as they swim along with their giant mouths open.
Length: 12m (40 ft.)
Giant squid can be found across the world’s oceans. One spot known to have more of them is off the coast of Newfoundland.
Length: 9.8m (32 ft.)
The giant pacific octopus is larger than other octopus species. They usually appear reddish, but can change color and even texture when threatened in order to camouflage themselves.
GREAT WHITE SHARK
Length: 7m (23 ft.)
Great white sharks are big predators, capable of eating marine mammals that weigh several hundred pounds.
GIANT OCEAN MANTA RAY
Length: 7m (23 ft.)
The giant ocean manta ray is not only the biggest species of ray, it also has the largest brain of all the world’s fish.
Length: 7m (23 ft.)
Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world's most powerful predators. They're immediately recognizable by their distinctive black-and-white coloring.
LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE
Length: 1.8m (6 ft.)
Leatherback turtles are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard, like other turtles. They are the largest sea turtle species and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Length: 11 inches
True blue tangs are restricted to coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea and surrounding waters and are often confused with two other surgeonfishes that inhabit the same waters, the doctorfish and ocean surgeonfish, as all three species look similar.
Length: 4.3 inches
Though they spend much of their lives swimming among the tentacles of their host anemone, common clownfish occasionally leave to feed.
Length: less than 1 inch
Plankton are usually microscopic, often less than one inch in length, but they also include larger species like some crustaceans and jellyfish.
HOW DO FISH BREATHE?
They’re fun to look at in an aquarium or to try to catch in a lake, but did you know that fish breathe? And have you ever wondered how you could see this in action without putting your head under water? You can learn about how fish breathe right at home!
Clear glass jar
Fill a cup with water and mix in a tablespoon of coffee grounds. The coffee mixture is like water in the ocean.
Place a coffee filter over the top of your glass jar with a rubber band around the top holding it on. The coffee filter is like the gills on a fish.
Pour the coffee ground and water mixture slowly in the top of the jar over the coffee filter.
Watch the water filter through the coffee filter.
THE SIMPLE SCIENCE OF HOW FISH BREATHE
Do fish have lungs? No, fish have gills instead of lungs and so they can’t take oxygen in from the air like we do. Instead they get their oxygen from the water. But how does that happen? Water goes in the mouth of the fish and out its gills. Gills are made of very thin tissue which acts like a filter to remove oxygen from the water and release carbon dioxide. Water moves through the fish gills, and as it does so the gills pull oxygen out of the water and into the blood to take it to all the cells in the fish’s body. Here, the coffee filter represents the gills, and the coffee grounds represent the oxygen. The coffee filter gill is collecting the oxygen to send to the fish’s circulatory system.
Did you know that hermit crabs also use gills even though they can come out of the water too? However, they can only do this in humid conditions where the gills can pull the moisture from the air!
WHY CAN’T FISH BREATHE OUT OF WATER?
Another interesting question to ask is why fish can’t breathe out of water? Certainly, there’s still plenty of oxygen for them, right?
Unfortunately, their gills collapse and then can’t function properly to pull in the oxygen they need and circulate it through their system.
CREATE THE "LAYERS" OF THE OCEAN
Create the layers of the ocean in a cup using sugar, water, and food coloring!
15 tablespoons of sugar
15 tablespoons of warm water
Blue food coloring
6 clear cups
Put 5 cups in a row on the table.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the first cup, 2 tablespoons to the second cup, 3 to the third, 4 to the fourth, and 5 to the fifth.
Add 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water to each cup. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved.
Add different amounts of blue food coloring to each cup to make
Take the fifth cup (the one with the most sugar) and pour half of its contents into the sixth cup (the empty one).
Hold the spoon, bowl side up, against the inside of the sixth cup. Slowly and gently pour half the contents of the fourth cup onto the spoon. (Poring onto the spoon keeps the two liquids from mixing in the cup). Do the same thing with the third, second, and first cups.
What is happening? Adding sugar to the water causes it to become denser as the sugar molecules take over the space. The more sugar you add, the denser the water becomes. That's why you can "stack" the colored water as long as you pour it gently.
Watch the experiment with volunteer and parent, Dr. Mary Hughes from the Buckeye Council!
square blue paper (best if it’s blue on both sides, the tutorial shows
paper that’s blue on one side only to make instructions more clear)
wiggle eyes stickers
Ready to start? Fold the paper diagonally (both diagonals). Fold into a
triangle. Crease the fold. Now take hold of the top corner of the triangle
(one paper only) and fold it towards the bottom as indicated by the pink
Grab one corner on the bottom and fold it toward the middle. Do the
same with the other one (see the pink dot). Unfold both.
Now grab one of those corners again and fold it towards the top of the
triangle (see the pink dot). Do the same with the other corner. Now tuck
these two “flaps” into the pocket and you’ve got yourself a nice base to
Even with the classic origami paper (color on one end and white on the other you can make a fancy looking shark (they do have white bottoms after all).
It’s time to decorate! Cut fins, teeth and tongue. Glue them on/in to make the shark. Stick on two wiggly eyes stickers and your shark is ready to take a bite at the next book you will read.
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