Saturday, June 16, 2012

Students get up close with nature

See the latest article in the Belchertown Sentinel, May 31, 2012   Page 1 and page 20.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Archives and choose May 31st to access a pdf version of the paper.  Written by Aimee Henderson

Friday, June 15, 2012

10 years apart, but lots to learn from each other!

What happens when you take a few dozen Kindergartners and mix them together with a few dozen 10th grade Biology students?  Fun.


Scoop away!

There's bound to be something living under that duck weed!

With MCAS over, it was time for the hard-working Biology students to get over to Lake Wallace to work a little harder!  With Josh and Brady, our Sentinel-front-page-celebrities, in command, the 10th graders were bound to learn lots about the life in the water and the challenges and joys of sharing this exploration of the diversity of fascinating critters invisible among us.

thanks, dragonflies!

A brief visit from a reptile

Now, let's see what we scooped up

Scientists hard at work, sorting, sketching, describing, comparing

Yep, we found lots!
Thanks to Mrs.Butler and the teachers and staff who helped make this trip a success!

Kindergartners and Biology, in the morning

Biologists, ready to meet their charges

Scat alert

goose scat and feathers, everywhere!

Mosquito-eating friends

Sorting through the nice bugs, and the ones we might think are icky

Water Scorpion ... nice find!

Who's up for another game of fishy, fishy, cross my ocean?!

Kindergartners and Biology, in the afternoon

Gear, jars, and landscape

There's nothing quite like scooping for frogs!

Partners, getting a good look at the pond critters

MsLevy lends a hand sorting and identifying

Scientists consult about what they saw and how many ... especially the snails

Kaylee, crayfish and Ashley

Was that Brandon yelling, "Catch Justin"?!

Tyburski and Turtle

Yep, that was fun ... Let's do it again!!

8th graders make the best of staying in Belchertown

While their classmates were off in our nations' capital, 20+ intrepid explorers tried their hand at scooping, sorting and identifying aquatic critters.  Our main goal was to scoop our way to discovering the quality of the water in the Lake Wallace watershed.  Turns out it is pretty good!  Not only did we find a variety of dragonfly and damselfly nymphs, there were lots of crayfish and a beetle larva that just has to be a great find!

(If you know what this is, please email MsLevy at

The group got a first-hand comparison of good and poor quality water, and discussed the meaning of high biodiversity in a healthy ecosystem.  The leeches both repulsed and fascinated.  Check out that rich, brick color on the belly and the fetching spots on its back...kinda pretty, huh?!

Perfect weather, great students, and lots of good learning.