Students Became Scientists at the Talcott Mountain Science Center BioBlitz

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The Talcott Mountain Science Center Academy held its annual BioBlitz Friday. An event where students become scientists and get to explore in nature.

“We found snails and slugs and we found some beetle grubs,” explains 5th grader Calliope Hines.

The students of the Talcott Mountain Science Center Academy found a lot of bugs.

“We have also found crickets,” says Brock Johnson, who’s in second grade. “Many crickets. A slug that looked like a tree bark, a cockroach and an orb weaver. And right now I just saw a yellow jacket land right here.”

Another student examined a beetle. “It looks like that’s it’s swallowing hole that goes down to its stomach and I think it’s empty because it’s totally clear.”

They’ve been learning about these insects in the classroom.

“It’s known as a blister beetle,” explains Johnson. “It has a special oil it sprays on you and if it sprays it on you it, if you leave it on too long it can turn into a blister.”

But Friday wasn’t just about creepy crawlers. The goal of the BioBlitz is for students to catch, observe and document everything living thing they encounter.

“All the plants, all the insects, all the birds, chipmunks, everything,” says Bridget Zacharczencko, also known as Dr. Z, a science teacher at the Academy.

Jonathan Creig, the executive director of the Talcott Mountain Science Center Academy says, “They are learning by their discovery and then their enthusiasm carry’s over into that learning much better than if you’re lecturing to them in a classroom or showing them a video or something.”

Students kindergarten through eighth grade explored the campus and wrote down all of their findings. Year after year, that data gets compiled and compared.

“Students can take that in their tech class and so we collaborate between science and tech,” says Dr. Z. “So they can use our BioBlitz data to learn technology skills with the computer.” She adds, “Getting our in this environment where it’s fun and hands on and exciting, they’re making discoveries…it’s amazing to watch them learn all of these things for themselves.”

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