Students from the Dr. Rafael Pujals Intermediate School in Ponce, led by their teacher Ms. Marilyn Palermo, visited Playita Rosada in Lajas, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018. During their visit, students attended several stations we set up, each focusing on one aspect of the local ecosystems: mangroves, sand composition, marine invertebrates and meteorology. They participated in a short walk along the nearby mangrove trail and closely examined the 4 different mangrove species we have in Puerto Rico. Many of these students had some previous knowledge of the mangrove species, but this time, they observed them from up close and within their natural environment. They also analyzed several sand samples, including sand from Playita Rosada itself. They filled out a sand sample sheet, observed the grains under a field microscope and managed to determine the elements found in each sample. On the other hand, students had the chance to see and manipulate several marine invertebrates that inhabit the local area. Some of the animals collected for the day’s examination included sea cucumbers, a sea star and a black sea urchin, among others. Finally, students analyzed several weather parameters and how they affect marine ecosystems and determined the chance of rain for the local area. It was a lovely, unforgettable experience. Keep moving forward, always!

By Delmis del C. Alicea Segarra, EdD
Photo credits:  Angela Ferrá Elías, Elizabeth Román and Marilyn Palermo
Translated by Wilmarie Cruz Franceschi, MA

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