Educational Field Trips

Making Lake Hopatcong a Classroom

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation provides full-day field trips for fourth- and fifth-graders at Hopatcong State Park. During their visit, students are given an opportunity to discover the lake by boat and its surroundings on foot. The purpose of the field trip program is to teach students about Lake Hopatcong, lake ecology, and the importance of water for life on earth.

The closure of schools through the end of the year, due to COVID-19, also meant the cancellation of our educational field trips—scheduled for May and June. Yet, just as learning continues with teachers and students online, lessons from our field trips will also continue, with virtual lessons and content, which align with our normal hands-on STEM-based activities, provided to schools that were scheduled for field trips this spring.

Field trip activities

Students experience four different activity sessions led by Lake Hopatcong Foundation staff and volunteers.

  • Hands-on learning aboard the Floating ClassroomStudents are taken aboard the floating classroom for hands-on learning about lake ecology and water quality which will include testing for water quality with Secchi disks; measuring pH levels, dissolved oxygen, and temperature; and viewing water samples through microscopes to see live phytoplankton.
  • Macroinvertebrate sampling in the Musconetcong River: Students learn about aquatic macroinvertebrates and how to determine water quality through an exploration of the Musconetcong River.
  • Discovery hike through Hopatcong State Park: Students are introduced to the role development and forested areas play in the health of the lake environment.
  • Interactive watershed model: Students learn about watersheds and how to keep our water clean through an EnviroScape demonstration.

For Schools

The purpose of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation field trip program is to teach students about Lake Hopatcong, lake ecology and the importance of water for life on earth. The field trips are held at Hopatcong State Park, 260 Lakeside Blvd., Landing, NJ. Trips for 2020 will be scheduled from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm from mid-May to mid-June.

Students attend four different activity sessions led by Lake Hopatcong Foundation staff and volunteers (see descriptions above). Full groups of up to 140 (including chaperones) can be accommodated in a day. Schools with less than 105 participants may be scheduled with other schools in order to fill the day. Each section will contain students from only one school. The cost is $18 per student or chaperone (there is no charge for teachers, aides, nurses, etc.).

For more information, contact donna@lakehopatcongfoundation.org.

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