Where should we look in our school?
Lesson Summary: Set up a Bio-Blitz to collect great photographic data for the Never Home Alone iNaturalists project.
Essential Question(s): Where should we, as scientists in our school, search for evidence of arthropods inside our classroom and school? How can we work as a team to collect the best evidence to upload to iNaturalist’s Never Home Alone platform?
Established Goals/Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:
- Explain the purpose of a bioblitz and why biodiversity matters
- Students learn about the arthropods and their habitat, and where within the habitat of the classroom and school there is evidence to collect for the Citizen Science project
- Record and share observations
Materials: iPads, macro lenses, map of school, science/STEM notebooks, lights (flashlights)
21st Century Skills – Critical Thinking, Collaboration (assigned roles), Technology Literacy
Teacher Background Information: What is a BIOBLITZ?
- A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity. These events can happen in most any geography—urban, rural, or suburban—in areas as small as a backyard or as large as a country.
- Smartphone technologies and apps such as iNaturalist make collecting photographs and biological information about living things easy as part of a BioBlitz. High quality data uploaded to iNaturalist become part of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an open source database used by scientists and policy makers around the world. From: National Geographic
Activity/Investigation: This activity would be the actual collection of usable data for the iNaturalist project. A major part of this will be useful strategies for teachers so that they can evaluate student work before it is shared with the project. This could be small-group, classroom, grade level or whole school. This will also have suggestions on where to look (windowsills, corners, light fixtures) — and what to do when students come across a live specimen, etc.
BioBlitz Scaffolding: Using iNaturalist
- Data literacy skills
- Common experience
- Collect – organize – analysis
- Inconclusive results still mean something
- Share out