The Floating Classroom Field Trip provides students with a real-world learning experience on environmental topics. It is often conducted in two parts: The first part being the boat trip to study water quality and the other half being stream monitoring to look at how various aspects of the land can affect water quality.
- Floating Classroom Program: Boarding the Rosalia Anna Ashby in Lake George Village to learn about Lake George and study water quality while traveling the lake.
- Stream Monitoring Program: Walking along streams at the Lake George Recreation Center to study how various aspects of the land can affect water quality.
Planning Your Field Trip
- Availability: Weekdays May through June and September through mid-October.
- Length: Typically 9:00am-1:30pm, including both the Floating Classroom and Stream Monitoring Programs. Both programs can also be done as separate field trips, and we can adjust start and end times to work with a school’s schedule. However, we do require schools to come for at least 3 1/2 hours if doing both the Floating Classroom and stream monitoring programs. If your class is just interested in the Floating Classroom program, the program will be 2 hours.
- Capacity: We are currently limiting programs to 20 passengers. Multiple days can be arranged for larger groups.
- Cost: Thanks to grant funding, the program is free for schools located within the Lake George watershed during the school year. For schools outside of the watershed, the program fee is $150.
- When and how to book: Please contact us today for current availability at 518-668-3558.
Specific topics covered in each program are shown below. Students will receive workbooks to fill out during the day so they can remember what they have learned on the trip and use it back in the classroom. Check out our “Science From Your Sofa” page for pre-trip or post-trip activities and videos.
Floating Classroom Program Content Options
Please let us know when you call to book the program if there are specific areas you would like us to cover. Time constraints may not allow us to cover everything listed below.
- Lake George Basics: Learn what makes Lake George different from other lakes. How long is it? How deep is it? How many islands does it have?
- History: Get a brief geological history of the formation of the lake. What did the lake look like before the glaciers came through? Why does the lake flow north?
- Water Clarity and Trophic State: Using a secchi disk, you’ll measure water clarity. How far can you see into the lake? We’ll discuss the factors affecting the clarity of the water and you’ll find out if the lake is oligotrophic, mesotrophic, or eutrophic.
- Food Webs and Plankton: You’ll catch and identify zooplankton using plankton nets and field microscopes. Why are they important to the health of the lake? What else lives in the lake?
- Water Chemistry: Using a Van Dorn bottle, you will obtain water to measure water temperature, pH
and dissolved oxygen levels. What can these tests help us determine over time.
- Water Quality Issues: Learn about threats to the lake such as invasive species and nonpoint source pollution. Fertilizers, septic systems, stormwater runoff, and road salt are all sources of pollution to the lake. What are simple things that can be done to help protect the lake?
Stream Monitoring Program Content
- Stream Ecology. Collect and identify macroinvertebrates in the stream to determine the health of the stream. What macroinvertebrates are indicators of clean water? To learn about macroinvertebrates visit our macroinvertebrates page.