Teacher Newsletter | Pensacola MESS Hall

Teacher Newsletter

To enrich your student’s science experience, the Pensacola MESS Hall has a lot to offer. From open exploration or in-depth themed field trips to classroom workshops and science shows, there is a lot to know! That’s why, once a month, we’ll send you our Teacher Newsletter to keep you updated on our programming. Learn about booking field trips, get details about a featured program, and let us tell you about hot topics in science news and hands-on activities for you to share with your students.

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to contact us is at groups@pensacolamesshall.org. Tell us what you’re looking for to supplement your students’ science education.
Click here for a list of all School Programming.

May Teacher Newsletter

Jump To:
Things to Know | Featured ProgramScience News | Classroom Activity | Learn More

Things to Know

  • Summer Camp Registration is ongoing. Explore Space. Ramble through Nature. Rock out with geology. Or Light It Up with us. Half day and full day camps available.
  • Plan ahead for the 2019-2020 school year by requesting field trip dates.
  • Introducing a middle school field trip–Mission: The Universe. Reinforce science standards with this NASA inspired stations.
  • We have a great outreach program! Can’t come to us? We will bring a science show and stations to you! For grades 1-3,  we offer Intro to Engineering. Take the challenge! This interactive show allows participants to balance forces while building a tall structure and encourages the use of descriptive language in math, engineering, and science. For PreK, we have Finding Math in Every Day, a series of four experiences in your classroom. Fill out this interest form, and we’ll contact you about the best dates.

Featured Program

Fund A Bus

The Pensacola MESS Hall is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for schools in our community. Through generous donations from MESS Hall supporters, we are offering $100 mini-grants to a limited number of schools to offset the cost of busing to the MESS Hall for field trips. We hope this will allow your school to bring your students to the MESS Hall for a grade level field trip in the Fall of 2019.

Grants will be no more than $100 per school. Distribution of funds will be based on several factors. Field trips must be scheduled for Fall of 2019. Only one mini-grant will be awarded per school. Apply here.

Selected schools will be notified as soon as possible.

What’s New

The next time you bring your students to the MESS Hall for a field trip you will notice something new. In an effort to empower the adults joining the field trip, a MESS Hall facilitator will give a brief overview of the featured stations in the Green Room. The Green Room overlooks the presentation area so that you can keep an eye on your students. The facilitator will make the session brief so that all adults can listen to the rest of the student orientation or interactive show.

Science News Brief

Be Shrimpy! Get Your Minerals!

Have you ever been told to drink your milk? You need calcium in your diet, and one source of dietary calcium can be dairy, like milk or cheeses. Other sources are spinach and beans. Calcium in your food becomes calcium in your bones. All of us definitely need strong bones.

But what do you do if you are a shrimp in very deep water? Shrimp don’t have endoskeletons (bones inside the body). They have exoskeletons made up of chitin to protect them. Even those hard shells won’t protect a shrimp from the crushing pressure of deep water.
It turns out that a type of small crustaceans manufacture themselves tiny suits of aluminum armor to resist the crushing pressures and freezing temperatures on the sea floor. These shrimp-like creatures suck up the metal-rich sediment at the bottom of the ocean and mix it with gut chemicals to create a protective aluminum hydroxide gel.

All sorts of strange and wonderful organisms exist down in the deep, and we’re only just discovering what lets them live and thrive in some of the most hostile environments on Earth.

Classroom Science Activity

Finding Iron  


  • 1 cup Cereal, such as toasted oat rings or wheat flakes
  • 1 quart sealable plastic bag
  • 1 magnet (bar or horseshoe magnet)
  • Warm water


  1. Place 1 cup cereal into sealable plastic bag.
  2. Fill the bag halfway with warm water. Seal the bag leaving an air pocket at the top.
  3. Shake the bag gently for 1 minute. Let the bag sit for 20 minutes until it turns into a brown, soupy mixture.
  4. Make sure the bag is tightly sealed and hold it flat in the palm of your hand. Place the strong magnet on top of the bag. Put your other palm on top of the magnet and flip your hands over so that the magnet is underneath the bag. Slowly slosh the contents of the bag in a circular motion for 15 or 20 seconds.
  5. Now, flip the bag and magnet over so the magnet is on top. Gently squeeze the bag to raise the magnet a little above the cereal soup. Don’t move the magnet just yet. Look closely at the edges of the magnet where it’s touching the bag. You should be able to see tiny black specks on the inside of the bag around the edges of the magnet. That’s the iron!
  6. Keep one end of the magnet touching the bag and move it in little circles. As you do this, the iron will gather into a bigger clump and become much easier to see.

Mess Around

Try this with different types of magnets. Do different types of cereal have different levels of iron? Compare the labels of the cereal boxes and predict which cereal will have more metallic iron.

What’s Going On?

Many breakfast cereals are fortified with food-grade iron (chemical symbol: Fe) as a mineral supplement. Metallic iron is digested in the stomach and eventually absorbed in the small intestine. If all of the iron from your body were extracted, you’d have enough iron to make two small nails.

Iron is found in a very important component of blood called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the compound in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs so it can be utilized by the body. It’s the iron in the hemoglobin that gives blood its red appearance.

A diet without enough iron can cause you to be tired, catch diseases more easily, and make your heart and breathing rates too fast. Food scientists say that a healthy adult requires about 18 mg of iron each day. As you can see, iron plays a very important part in maintaining a healthy body.

More Information

Click here for more information on our Classroom Programs. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook to get the best updates on our upcoming programs and events, both for your classroom and your family.

If you are not already, be sure you are signed up for our monthly Teacher Newsletter to stay up-to-date on what the MESS Hall has to offer, and to receive the science news and activities we share with you!

As always, feel free to email any questions about program details or booking to groups@pensacolamesshall.org.