This week, students from the Oceanography class and the STEM Club got together to set up a new 40-gallon oyster tank in the School’s STEM Lab, off the lobby in the Math & Science Center. Two additional 10-gallon oyster tanks have also been set up in the Environmental Systems lab.
Upper School science teacher Brad Turner said that the oyster tanks will be used by several different classes and clubs on campus to provide a variety of research and learning opportunities. The Innovative Tech Club plans to set up a time-lapse camera to record how the tank’s cloudy water is cleared by the oysters. The students will also be able to use the tank to investigate the nitrogen cycle, and they will set up instruments to measure the water’s salinity, pH, and temperature.
In addition to being a source of food, oyster reefs have the ability to filter water, provide habitat for marine species, and help shield the shoreline from storm damage. The “Living Breakwaters” project in Raritan Bay is one local example.
In the Upper School, Environmental Science students will be able to study first-hand how oysters help sustain our environment. In the Middle School, Andrea Silvestri’s 6th Grade science students will dissect the oysters to learn about their digestive system and how they clear the water of particles.
There are currently four different varieties of oysters in the MBS tanks — Blue Point and Cape Cod oysters in the STEM Lab, and Standish and Chesapeake Bay oysters in the tanks in the Environmental Systems Lab. Stop by and check them out!