During an off-campus field trip earlier this month, students enrolled in Mrs. DiNonno and Mrs. Meder’s Montverde Academy 5th grade classes visited the Marine Discovery Center, located in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. MVA Lower-school students also participated in a “boat tour” on the Indian River Lagoon too! According to their website, The Indian River Lagoon “…is a unique, highly diverse, shallow-water estuary of national significance stretching along 40 percent of Florida’s east coast.”

Mrs. Meder informed Montverde.org that the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) “…is a unique, highly diverse, shallow-water estuary of national significance stretching along 40 percent of Florida’s east coast. While the IRL’s environmental importance is clear, the lagoon is also an economic engine, generating more than $3.7 billion per year to the state of Florida. Mrs. Meder informed Montverde.org that “Dolphins, birds, and other marine life were encountered as the naturalist described the lagoon and its inhabitants. Students learned about some of the different types of plant life along the waterway and they completed salinity tests with fresh water and the salt water found in the lagoon.” At the “Discovery Center,” MVA Lower-school students spent time researching different types of plankton and (inside the MDC science lab) learned about different plankton specimens under microscopes. “They observed different types of live and skeletal specimens found in the local habitats. Students got to walk into the salt water marsh and use a seine net to drag up some of the living things found in the marsh,” added Mrs. Meder.