Students in Renwick School’s ‘Green Ferns’ enviro-group organised and ran a BioBlitz this term, to find and identify many of the different kinds of living things at their school…
The whole school was involved in the BioBlitz, with students ranging from new entrants through to Year 8s scouring the school grounds for living things to study. The edible garden and school stream area were a focus, after the Green Ferns identified them as potential biodiversity hot spots.
Supported by Ms Tullet, the Green Ferns did lots of mahi to prepare for the day. They planned how the day would run, with different classes taking part at different times of the day and in different parts of the school. They also ran a staff meeting to introduce teachers to the observation sheets, and to talk about what they wanted to achieve. They organised gear and identification books, and promoted the idea with students.
On the day, students completed observation sheets for the creatures and plants that they found, and they were encouraged to make detailed notes and drawings about what they noticed. Some students looked at their finds under a microscope, and were able to notice details that they hadn’t seen with the naked eye.
“The kids are buzzing and it was such a cool opportunity for our wee ones to connect to their place, and our older ones to reconnect to their environment. It’s sparked a lot of talk and next steps, and we are now looking forward to evaluating our day” – Sarah Tullet, Enviroschools Lead Teacher at Renwick School.
After the BioBlitz, some of the observations were entered into iNaturalist by the Green Ferns. Each class reflected on what they discovered in their own way, with some classes creating artwork, and others writing descriptions inspired by what they found and observed:
“The damselfly has army coloured legs so he can be camouflaged” – Jett.
“The damselfly has bendy legs that are spooky but the spikes on its tail don’t look spooky. Its spikes are for scaring predators” – Mackenzie.