South Orangetown Central School District

Grade 5 ecosystems lab with planters

How do Cottage Lane Elementary School scientists gather evidence to support their claim that plants need light, water, soil and air to grow? By conducting experiments to test their hypothesis!

K-8 Instructional Science Coach Samantha Levine and teacher Cassie Barbera recently provided technical support to student-scientist teams as they labeled, measured, poured and planted–ultimately creating planters which would provide a variety of conditions for tiny mustard seeds.

“This hands-on lab is part of the fifth grade Ecosystems science unit,” Levine noted. “Students will be monitoring growth over the next few weeks to test their claim and, eventually, develop a model to describe the movement of matter among producers (plants), consumers (animals), decomposers and the environment.”