Since the fall of 2013 all kindergarten students (approximately 20) have been participating in a research project involving scent stations. These young scientists examine a map of the schoolyard and Environmental Education Laboratory to locate the locations for their scent stations. After choosing four locations students study the ecosystems and the characteristics of the habitats. They make predictions of the animals they think live there. Students then take a vote on the scent they think the animals in the ecosystem would be attracted to, such as fox urine, beaver caster, skunk, or molasses. Each scent station location uses the same scent. A 2'x2' area is chosen along a corridor in each ecosystem and is covered with soil that has been sifted so that tracks can be examined. The scent is put on a cotton ball, which is put on a popsicle stick and is stuck in the ground in the middle of the sifted soil. A motion camera is chained to a tree and directed toward the scent. The camera takes photos of the animals that visit the scent station (see photos below). The photos taken are viewed and used for instructional purposes. Writing, art, math and mapping activities occur with the data collected.
Students pictured above are kindergarten students from various years since 2013 who are preparing the ground, applying the scent, and setting up the camera.
Click below to read a book written by the 2014 kindergarten class.
Each year since 2013, all kindergarten students (approximately 20) conduct research on the egg laying habits of our hens. They have collected data on the color of eggs laid as well as the nesting boxes preferred by the hens. They use tally marks and have made pictographs to document findings (see photos below).
Biological Stream Studies
Several times a year since 2003, kindergarten students (approximately 20) have been conducting biological stream studies in Snowy Creek. They learn about the benthic macro-invertebrates that live in the stream and categorize photographs based on physical attributes. Students go to the stream to find and identify these benthic macro-invertebrates and document their findings (see photos below).
Students use identification cards (in the background of the first photo) to try and identify the benthic macro-invertebrates they find in Snowy Creek. These students turn over rocks to locate the aquatic insects. They complete a data collection sheet documenting the species found and identified.