Pre-College Programs
STEM I for Middle School - SPARK

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Conservation in Action: A Field Study Experience

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

We always hear about endangered species all over the world. What exactly is being done to protect these animals and their habitats? Most people do not realize it, but every endangered species has a recovery plan that maps the road to successfully increasing populations and saving habitats. Zoos are a huge part of these recovery plans by being a place for breeding and increasing public awareness of endangered species. In Rhode Island, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is involved in some very exciting conservation projects globally and locally. Spend a week learning how zoos all over the world contribute to conservation through field work and research.

Students will spend time in class and at the zoo learning the foundations of biodiversity and endangered species conservation before heading out into the field to collect data on the carrion beetle population in Rhode Island as citizen scientists. Citizen science is where everyday folks go out into the environment, collect data, and contribute to scientific databases. With all of this extra data scientists and researchers are able to do so much more than they could on their own time. This class will enable you to become "citizen scientists" and help shape the conversation plan for a local endangered species.

By the end of the week, you will have a better understanding of what goes into protecting the biodiversity of our planet. The week will provide a chance to learn about some conservation projects happening in New England and around the world and a chance to experience what it is like to work in the field.

Students should have a good understanding of how an ecosystem works and some general animal biology knowledge. But mostly they just need to come with a deep appreciation for all living life and a willingness to learn that every species has a purpose.

*For the field work portion of the week (2 days), students must be willing to work in an outdoor setting, checking pitfall traps. This will include hiking, helping to carry equipment, and digging and baiting traps with materials most suited for attracting carrion beetles.

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