Fourth Grade Field Trip Fun: Hydromania & Fonthill Castle

May 27, 2023

Last week was filled with fun activities for the Downtown Campus fourth graders. On Thursday, May 11, they traveled to Cedar Crest College to attend Hydromania!

Celebrating its 20th year, this event, which is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Water Suppliers group, engages students in learning all about water. Each station had its own interactive element in which students could take part.

They played with models and observed demonstrations about the inner workings and connectivity of watersheds. They learned about the damages that releasing balloons can cause for oceans and rivers.  They learned about water treatment plants and how pollution, sludge, and even sewage is removed and how water is treated. They got to “walk” through a life size model of a drain and discover what travels through it, what gets stuck, crazy things that have been found there (such as an alligator), they created bracelets and book bag charms to represent each part of  the water cycle, and much more! They ended their day by meeting the event’s famous mascot Dewey, the drop. 

On Friday, May 12, fourth-grade students from the Downtown Campus traveled to Doylestown in Bucks County, PA and stepped into Henry Chapman Mercer’s Fonthill Castle and Moravian Tile Works.

At Fonthill Castle, students, led by a docent, took a tour through the castle and got to visit 13 out of 44 rooms. They learned about Mercer’s legacy as an archaeologist, anthropologist, scholar, tile maker and collector. What originally started out as a simple farmhouse, evolved into a concrete structure which was decorated with tiles and other objects from his collections amidst narrow steep stairs and curved passages. At the Moravian Tile Works, students had the opportunity to watch a video about the history of the Tileworks, walk around the museum and learn all about the history of Moravian Pottery, and finally watch a demonstration. As they made their way through, they got to step into the clay room in the basement, try their hand at cutting out tile designs, and each group got a chance to stamp a tile for future guests to see. They got a chance to see Mercer’s full process, from wild clay to the finished product!

Videos by Barbara Medina


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