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Plankton Net Construction and Deployment

**Please make sure that no pieces get lost while testing the sampling capabilities of your homemade plankton nets**

Grade: 6-10

Lesson Time: 2 hours, multiple days

Materials Required (not limited to below, anything to make a homemade net):

  • Fabric to make the net (panty hose, old bed linens, etc)
  • Duct tape or thread
  • String
  • Cups or plastic bottles
  • Coat hangers or copper tubing
  • Weights (rocks, etc)


This is a great activity to do after learning about plankton and how scientists collect samples of them. Students will construct a plankton net of their own and test it’s sampling capabilities.

Massachusetts Content Standards, Science and Technology, Physical Science:

  • Grade 6-8, 2.13: Give examples of ways in which organisms interact and have different functions within an ecosystem that enables the ecosystem to survive
  • Grade 9-10, 2.6.4: Analyze changes in an ecosystem resulting from natural causes, changes in climate, human activity, or introduction of non-native species
  • Grade 9-10, 2.6.5: Explain how symbiotic behavior produces interactions within ecosystems

Activity download: Plankton_Net_Activity

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