Fourth graders learn about New York’s oysters


Through a special collaboration, elementary school students throughout Lynbrook Public Schools learned about the importance of hidden shellfish that line New York’s shores.

Students at Marion Street, Waverly Park, and West End elementary schools took a dive into the Billion Oyster Project, which is an environmental sustainability initiative that seeks to restore one billion oysters to New York Harbor by 2035. Because oysters are filter feeders, they serve as a natural water filter with many beneficial effects for their surrounding ecosystem.

Elementary school science specialists have incorporated the Billion Oyster Project into their curriculum through lessons that relate to the project’s mission. During the fourth grade’s structure and function unit, for example, science specialists substituted the study of a fiddler crab with an oyster to think about the design of a hard outer body that protects a soft inner body.

Representatives from Nassau BOCES, in association with Cornell University’s Nassau Extension, have visited all fourth grade classes to present special assemblies. The assemblies provided an examining of live oysters that students were able to see and interact with up close. They learned about the function of the oyster and their importance to New York State as well as the Hudson River. This helped students build an appreciation for the Billion Oyster Project and how it will benefit so many people in the future.

— Ben Fiebert