Senior School Classes

Using Taxonomic Keys

Length: 1 – 1.5 hrs
After a quick review of classification-related vocabulary and of the main invertebrate and vertebrate phyla and classes, the students will enjoy hands-on activities to classify specimens, and use numbered and/or spider keys to classify various aquarium and zoo animals.

Curriculum links:
Biology I: Module on Biodiversity (Senior School Science)

  • Demonstrate how a taxonomic key is used to group and identify organisms.

​Characteristics of Vertebrates

Length: 1 – 1.5 hrs
The characteristics of each class of vertebrates will be explored from the perspective of the transition of species from water to land and how higher vertebrates are adapted to a terrestrial existence. A guided tour of the zoo and aquarium with questions on selected species is included.

Curriculum links:
Cambridge IGCSE Biology - Section I: Characteristics and Classification of Living Organisms

  • List the main features of the following vertebrates: bony fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals

​Food Webs and Energy Flow

Length: 1 – 1.25 hrs
In this class, which can be taught at your school, students work in groups to construct eight food chains based on the Spittal Pond community. The links between food chains are explored and the food web becomes apparent. The history and consequence of the many introduced species is explained, which puts in perspective how introduced species have hugely affected Bermuda’s ecology.

Curriculum links:
Cambridge IGCSE Biology - Section IV:

  • Define the terms food chain, food web, producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, decomposer, ecosystem, trophic level

  • Describe energy losses between trophic levels

Environmental Science I: Module on Ecosystems (Senior School Science)

  • Identify the roles of producers, consumers and decomposer

  • Describe the concept of the trophic level

  • Describe food chains and food webs

  • Investigate the movement of energy through an ecosystem

  • Explain the relationship between the population sizes of predator and prey

Marine Chemistry (also Introduction to the Hydrosphere)*

This hands-on investigation of what makes our ocean water can be boat (smaller groups) or class (larger groups) based. Students measure various physical and chemical parameters and understand their importance for life: temperature, salinity, pH, nitrates, phosphates, calcium, turbidity, and current (if appropriate). It can be adapted to freshwater/brackish water study as well.

Curriculum links:
Marine Science class: Module on Origin and Composition of the Oceans

  • Describe the composition and characteristics of ocean water

  • Explain what is meant by salinity

  • Describe the water cycle and how it can be disrupted

  • Discuss the effects of pollution in the oceans

Environmental Science I: Module on Introduction to Environmental Science

  • Content detail - hydrosphere

* Class can include a guided field trip to a specific habitat. Field trips may require a prior in-class session.

Coral Reef Ecology (also Coral Reef Biome)*

This class can be taught upon request as a general overview of the Coral Reef Biome, as an in-depth session of the biology and identification of coral species, or as a pre-lesson to prepare for a snorkelling field trip on the reef. It can be broken up into several sessions if need be, and paired with one or more outings on the reef using R/V Endurance as our base.

Curriculum links:
Marine Science: Module on Coral Reefs

  • Identify the different reefs based on their structure

  • Evaluate the protection each reef provides to the island

  • Distinguish the organisms of each reef

  • Describe the different types of coral on Bermuda’s reefs

Environmental Science I: Module on Biomes

  • Identify the earth’s major biomes

  • Describe the physical, climate and biological features of the major biomes

  • Explain how the adaptations of plants and animals in each ecosystem helps them to survive

* Class can include a guided field trip to a specific habitat. Field trips may require a prior in-class session.

Coral Reef Fieldwork

Get out of the classroom and get salty to meet corals and fish up close and personal. After learning to identify and recognize corals, fish and important invertebrates, we head out on the reef to conduct a quantitative survey of the benthic cover and count fish at one or more sites around the Bermuda platform. Follow up reports allow students to reflect on differences amongst reef locations around the island and to understand ecological data collection and the effect of environmental parameters on an ecosystem.

Using Science to Solve Local Environmental Problems*

Length: 1 hr
Following the steps of the scientific method, students will see how lab experiments were conducted to determine which method of sediment remediation was most effective. A hands-on experiment is included. Class can be done in your classroom.

Curriculum links:
Environmental Science I: Module on Introduction to Environmental Science (Senior School Science)

  • Describe the steps involved in conducting a scientific experiment by using the scientific method in order to solve environmental problems

Environmental Science II: Module on Physical Resources (Senior School Science)

  • Assess the impact of land pollutants

  • Identify ways to control water pollution, including ocean pollution

* Class can include a guided field trip to a specific habitat. Field trips may require a prior in-class session.

Bermuda’s Desert: Adaptations of Bermuda’s Sandy Shore Plants & The Threat of Invasive Species*

Length: 2 – 2.5 hr
Students will learn how native plants are adapted to Bermuda’s sand dune and beach habitats and how they are threatened by encroaching invasive species. Field trip includes viewing casuarinas on the beach at Southlands and the plant community at Chaplin Bay. Culling of invasive wedelia and napauka can be included.

Curriculum links:
Environmental Science I: Module on Biomes (Senior School Science)

  • Explain how the adaptation of plants and animals in each ecosystem helps them to survive

* Class can include a guided field trip to a specific habitat. Field trips may require a prior in-class session.

Pollution’s Effects on Local Wildlife

Length: 1 hr
Students will learn about the variety of effects pollution has had on Bermuda’s wildlife and how Bermuda has some of the worst effects ever reported. This class may be done at your school and may be paired with a field trip during the spring.

Curriculum links:
Environmental Science II: Modules on Physical and Biotic Resources (Senior School Science)

  • Assess the impact of land pollutants

  • Identify and describe causes of the decline of six endangered species in Bermuda (cahow, turtles, cicada, toad, whistling frog, snail)

  • Identify some species of plants and animals that are at risk in the United States and Bermuda

Other Senior School Classes and Field Trips of Interest:
  • Bermuda’s Terrestrial Habitats*
  • Conservation Research at BAMZ & Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Man’s Effect on the Environment & the Extinction Crisis
  • The Sargasso Sea
  • Guided  Field Trip of the Walsingham Mangroves & Forest*
  • Ecology: Reef Quadrats*