Fun in the sun at BioKIDS field trip
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Detroit sixth-graders explored the Environmental Study Area at U-M Dearborn at a BioKIDS field trip hosted by Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and BioKIDS for the second year in a row.
The trip is an extension of a BioKIDS Science Convention, hosted each year by U-M and modeled on a professional scientific meeting, where kids are the experts presenting posters on organisms they’ve studied to professors, graduate students, and others. In 2010, the scientists were impressed with the depth of the students' knowledge but were bothered that many of the students had never actually seen the animals they were describing. Thus, the idea for the field day was hatched.
Primarily EEB graduate students and several others, including teachers and parents, were field trip leaders for 85 students from Detroit's Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies School and O.W. Holmes Elementary-Middle School.
In the morning, they walked the trails and stopped at stations for bird watching, catching insects with nets, and to view aquatic animals collected from a pond. An indoor station featured a variety of skulls and skins from the Museum of Zoology's teaching collection. After lunch, the students spent an hour removing invasive weeds (garlic mustard) from the study area.
Special thanks to George Hammond, research program officer, Animal Diversity Web, who organized the trip; science teachers Connie Atkisson (O.W. Holmes), LeAnne Peebles (F.L.I.C.S.) and the EEB field trip leaders Ray Barbehenn, associate research scientist; postdoctoral fellows Ai Wen, Kenneth Elgersma; graduate students Dave Allen, Susan Cheng, Serge Farinas, Sahar Haghighat, Hyunmin Han, John Marino, Rob Massatti, Leslie McGinnis, Semoya Philips, Iman Sylvain, Rachel Vannette. The School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Program in the Environment also provided field leaders.
Funding was provided by a National Science Foundation grant called “DeepThink: Thinking Deeply about Biodiversity and Ecology.” Special thanks to Professor Nancy Songer, School of Education, principal investigator, and Professor Phil Myers, EEB, and curator, Museum of Zoology, co-PI.
BioKIDS is a U-M School of Education and Museum of Zoology program that uses technology and hands-on-learning methods to help middle school students ask questions the way scientists do. Several thousand Detroit Public School students have participated in the BioKIDS program, charting wildlife in their own school yards and preparing reports on local ecosystems, such as the Detroit River.
In this article:
Allen, David; Barbehenn, Raymond; Cheng, Susan; Elgersma, Kenneth; Farinas, Serge; Haghighat, Sahar; Han, Hyunmin; Marino, John; Massatti, Rob; McGinnis, Leslie; Myers, Philip; Phillips, Semoya; Sylvain, Iman; Vannette, Rachel; Wen, Ai