Students spend the day learning about Hudson River

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Thousands of students from Troy to Manhattan stepped out of the classroom Thursday to become scientists for the day. They took part in the 20th annual Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor.

“It really ties into our studies about animal life, plant life, and then also how humans really need rivers and large bodies of water to live and survive,” explained Sarah Lansaw, a teacher at RiverRun Montessori in Schenectady.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation hosted the event, giving kids first-hand experience with one of the major watersheds in the Capital Region.

“Being able to touch fish, get into the water, and do those hands-on activities is really important for all ages, especially for the young ones,” Lansaw said. “It really just cements in their mind that science is a fun thing that they can do.”

Lansaw’s students are happy to be part of it.

“I love animals and I think fish are so cute and I’m excited to see what we catch,” said fourth grader Pearl Skalwold-Farrington.

The program gives young kids like pearl the opportunity to collect data on the fish and other species in the Hudson River, track the river’s tides and currents, and examine water chemistry and quality — all while having fun.

“Having fun while learning is very, very, very good,” Pearl said.

The students collect and compare their data with other schools in the program, which helps everyone better understand the factors affecting the Hudson River.

As for the DEC, it hopes this is just one way to inspire the next generation of environmental conservationists.