Rockport Middle School Programs

Since 2009, Rockport eighth graders have collected and analyzed annual data in the Millbrook Park Watershed, under the guidance of NOAA scientists. Students analyze invasive and migratory species and discover how these species interact with the watershed’s habitat. By monitoring invasive plants in Millbrook and invasive crabs at Front Beach, students learn how invasive species displace native species. This field trip occurs late spring, when the American eel, a protected species, migrates to Millpond. This walking field trip enables students to apply their earth, life, and physical science and technology design knowledge to local field research and take action in local environmental issues.

“We are so grateful for the Ed Foundation’s continued support of the 8th grade Millbrook Park field trip. It gives our students the opportunity to conduct research in the areas of life science, earth science and technical engineering, as their culminating middle school science research event.” —Carolyn McWilliams, eighth grade science teacher

Students participate in an authentic, on-going scientific study of the Saratoga Creek Salt Marsh. They observe, measure, and collect data about the invasive plant species phragmites at three different locations in the marsh, in conjunction with Mass Audubon’s Salt Marsh Science Project. The goal of the project is to learn about and protect the nature of Rockport’s salt marsh ecosystem by engaging students and their communities in salt-marsh exploration and data-collecting activities that combine educational initiatives with a strong conservation message.

“I heard this from several students after we completed the field trip: “I didn’t know the marsh was so important to wildlife – we really need to work to preserve it.” —Bob Allia, RMS science teacher