This curriculum crosswalk is a work in progress. We're always looking for volunteers or interns proficient in state curriculum standards!

New York State Learning Standards & Core Curriculum On the Floating Classroom

Middle School/Intermediate

Floating Classroom programs can be designed to address nearly every MST Standard at the Intermediate/Middle School Level.  Here are a few examples of activities which support multiple standards.  Specific lesson plans are available to emphasize specific standards.  Basic program lab sheets are available for download.  PLEASE do not hesitate to contact us for more information!   

  • Basic Scientific Method:  Students will review principals of basic scientific method- data collection and recording techniques, duplication, and observation of field conditions- as they prepare for field-lab activities as part of a research team. 
  • Basic Field Observation- Secchi Disk:  Students will practice proper field techniques as they test lake, stream or pond waters for clarity using a Secchi Disk.  
  • Depth-Water Chemistry Profile:  Students use field equipment to collect and record data as we sample from the surface to the bottom of the lake.  Data points are transferred to a depth-profile chart for assessment.  What does the chart tell us about the relationships between water temperature, acidity, oxygen levels and other parameters? 
  • Biological Study:   Students will use field equipment to collect plankton samples for observation under microscopes.   Observation and identification of plants, animals and protozoa; population comparisons; and the impact of microhabitats within the lake are covered in this element.   Specific skills and understandings addressed include:
    • Preparation of wet mounts and microscopy
    • Use of taxonomic keys
    • Science Inquiry:  “The Paradox of Plankton”- characteristics in the middle of the lake (pelagic  zone) suggest that perhaps one or two species of phytoplankton might be best adapted for survival there and would become dominant.  This is not the case.  Why?
  • Lake Valley Depth Profile:   A classic, U-shaped glacial valley underlies Cayuga Lake, and will be revealed to your students as they complete a lake transect, recording and charting depths at regular intervals. 
  • Field Math Applications:  Math skills- basic functions, chart scaling and plotting, estimation and evaluation- are all part of each Floating Classroom activity.  However, specific emphasis on applications of these and more advance math skills such as trigonometry are available. 

English Language Arts CORE CURRICULUM Standards Applications for Grades 6-8.   


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table)

During each cruise, students break into lab teams and record data at three or four stations on the boat- Secchi disk clarity, field conditions, water temperature/chemistry at various depths, plankton sample results. At the conclusion of each cruise students will have written records (lab sheets) of information shared verbally and otherwise.  They will also have access to historical data,  Students may create trip reports based on the assemblage of this verbal and observed data.  Templates are available for graphing the data.

Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.

The Floating Classroom can provide published articles on a variety of topics relevant to Cayuga Lake, such as the impact of climate change, recreational boats, hydrofracking or invasive species on the lake ecology.  Students may evaluate these articles, based on observations and experiences during a Floating Classroom cruise.

Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

See above.  Text, Powerpoint presentations and plotted data are available for use.

Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

Upon request, students can be provided with lab procedures to review prior to their boat trip.  During the trip, they will be asked to follow these procedures to complete 3 or 4 distinct lab activities.


Mathematics CORE CURRICULUM Standards Applications for Grades 6-8

Design charts, tables, graphs, and other representations of observations in conventional and creative ways to help them address their reserach question or hypothesis.

More soon!


    High School/Commencement Level Standards Applications - Coming Soon!