STEM-tifically speaking, seashells are a pretty neat chemical compound known as Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) made by mollusks. Mollusks are basically clams, mussels, oysters, snails, scallops, and squid. There are over 100,000 species of mollusks! That's a lot. And they fall into a few main groups - gastropods, bivalves, and cephalopods. The shells you'll find on the beach are likely gastropod shells (snails) or bivalve shells (clams & oysters). Using the scientific terms when shell hunting with your future scientists will get them used to big words that mean big concepts that can lead to big changes for our world.
Pick a beach, any beach...well...maybe not just any beach. We like to go to a little bit of a secret beach. It's in Cape Henlopen State Park. It's called Herring Point.
When you get to the entry gate (on the Lewes side of the park) ask the attendant for a map and have them direct you to Herring Point.
Park in the parking lot and walk down the path to the beach.
If you go in on the Rehoboth side, you can walk north to Herring Point.
Project Materials List
Just a bag or bucket to put your shells in.
Related Web Links
Check out this PBS video for a pretty in depth scientific look at how seashells are formed.
Ideas, Notes, & Tips
Early morning low tide is the best time to shell hunt, but shells do wash up all day long. Also, after a storm is good too.