Students were able to catch and properly tag Monarchs to support scientists studying the species during the migration. After being trained indoors we went out to look for our "volunteers".
We split the enrichment classes to allow smaller groupings and flipped in the middle. Mrs. McDonald taught about the biology of the Monarch and Mr. Henington trained and certified water keepers outside. Water keepers refill the shallow puddles in the garden space year round. Students demonstrated mastery by filling the puddles from the rain cistern. Students choose to do this on their own. They might be late to class and were given a Water Keeper pass. 100% of the students in our citizen science training became certified.
Mrs. McDonald and I traded enrichment classes to allow my students to be exposed to the Eco-Schools USA "Pathways" this week while I took her enrichment out to work in the garden. Most of the students were not in our program last year so we are training students to work in the myriad tasks to maintain the Monarch Hero Garden as well as expand the biodiversity on campus.
Outside, we gathered wood to create natural shelters for the for the garden. Students learned how to be "Water Keepers" to refill the two puddles in the garden with rainwater from the school cistern. Another team of students volunteered to clear an old vegetable garden beds to make way for more monarch habitat.
Mr. Perez, Mrs. McDonald and myself participated in a Saturday training hosted by Tanglewood Middle School. We learned more about the STEM curriculum that the NWF has developed and learned how to do the biodiversity survey for the campus. We learned how to tag monarchs in the coming migration and how to make seed balls to help propagate native milkweed and nectar plants.
We finally began our new Citizen Science enrichment after a two week delay to the start of school due to Hurricane Harvey. Mrs. McDonald and I worked out a flipping plan for our classes that allowed each group to get an overview of the Eco-Schools pathways and io get hands on training outdoors in the garden.