MEDFIELD — Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden and Principal Nathaniel Vaughn are pleased to announce that Blake Middle School students visited two Mass Audubon locations this month to engage in hands-on learning opportunities related to their lessons in ecology.
On Monday, May 16, Blake seventh grade students visited the Mass Audubon Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont and the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick.
The trips were funded in part by the Medfield Coalition for Public Education, and supported the school’s Project Based Learning Unit in ecology. During this unit students learn ecology topics while they research an endangered species in Massachusetts.
Students in Kristin Buley, Juli Dalzell and Judy Silva’s seventh grade science classes all attended the trips.
With the assistance of Mass Audubon teachers, students underwent a series of investigations surrounding the following topics:
- The adaptations of organisms living in the water body (both plants and animals) by looking at how dipped-up organisms behave and move; aquatic parasites; the impact of climate change (specifically heavy precipitation and drought cycles); and abiotic characteristics of wetlands.
- Environments where succession occurs, such as competition, dependency, symbiotic relationships and invasive species; adaptations in the meadow environment; watch aerial insectivores and how climate change is impacting them; and abiotic characteristics of meadows.
- The forest floor for the community of plants and animals that live there, including decomposers; soil composition and the role of soil in a healthy ecosystem; and abiotic characteristics of forests.
“These trips were a terrific opportunity for students to get out of the classroom and engage in comprehensive hands-on learning with experts in the field of ecology,” Principal Vaughn said. “The lessons taught in this unit are a critical way for students to directly connect their education to the world they live in, and we thank Mass Audubon for giving students access to their instructors and learning spaces for these trips.”
For more information on Mass Audubon and their conservation efforts, click here.