Center Moriches Middle School  

Middle School science teacher Mary-Lynn Youngman of the Center Moriches Middle school is working with several DEC employees who came to show the children how to measure and identify trees in quadrats as a part of their OSSP project.

The DEC marked off a large square quadrat in the woods. This was divided into smaller squares to accommodate smaller groups of students (4 or 6 to a group). The object was for the students to take a string and divide their square into 4 triangles. Then they identified all of the trees greater than three inches within each of the triangles and measured and plotted their locations on a piece of paper. They also flagged one of the trees as their special tree for future study. This exercise combined science and math by teaching the students about trees as well as using math skills to measure the triangles to get the area of the plots. In December the students will measure tree height and look at tree cores.

Tree Cookies

Tree cookies are cross sections of tree trunks and branches that illustrate how trees grow.  Students worked in pairs to identify the parts of the tree, and measured the diameter and circumference of the cookies. They determined the age of the tree when it was cut down by counting the rings of  heartwood and sapwood.   Based on the study of the growth rings, students were able to hypothesize  the climate in which the tree grew and  traumatic events it may have suffered, such as insect and fire damage, lightning, or human activity.