Productive Plankton

The word plankton comes from the Greek word “planktos” meaning to wander. Plankton creates 80 percent of the world’s atmospheric oxygen every day. It is the bottom of the food chain and therefore some of the most important plants and animals in the ocean. Plankton is a key player in the carbon cycle and global warming. 

Duration: approximately 3 hours
Recommended: 5th grade to adult

What to expect:

  • Students play the Meroplankton Match Up game.
  • In Plankton Races, students will “build” their own plankton and race each other.
  • Students will collect plankton (this can be a dry or wet activity), prepare slides and view the plankton under microscopes.

What to wear and bring:

  • Bathing suit or other clothes to get wet (weather permitting).
  • Shoes to get wet (old tennis shoes -not sandals are recommended).
  • Bring a towel to class.
  • This can also be a dry activity.

Key Words to Review with Your Students:

  • Plankton
  • Zooplankton
  • Phytoplankton
  • Autotroph
  • Heterotroph
  • Photosynthesis 

Alabama Course of Study Standards and Ocean Literacy Principles

To book your field trip, email scheduler@disl.org or call (251) 861-2141 x7511.