We asked teachers and youth group leaders who registered to bring kids and teens to the BioBlitz to tell us why. Here’s some of what they had to say…
Jabin Burnworth, Manchester High School, North Manchester, Indiana: I am an environmental science teacher, and I love everything about this event. I want students to know this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wish I could have had this opportunity when I was in high school.
Jessica Cañas, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Chicago, Illinois: What interests me most about the BioBlitz is working with professional scientists in the field, hands-on. I want my students to experience working outdoors in nature and to learn the importance of biodiversity. I want them to feel proud of living in this ecologically rich region, and to learn how their actions and choices affect the place where they live.
Michael Maesch, Marsh Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois: Our students typically would not get this opportunity. I have students who are interested in science, but who also live in a city environment. Participating in BioBlitz will give them the opportunity to contribute to an excellent cause, and also to get to use the scientific concepts they’ve studied in my classroom.
Brennan Young, Farragut Career Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois: I plan on bringing my AP Biology students, who will have just completed the Advanced Placement exam. I would like to expose them to the beauty and biodiversity of the area, while conducting higher-level science.
John Zakelj, local home-schooling teacher: I want them to get outside and have experience identifying species. I also want them to see real scientists and naturalists doing their jobs. I want them to get an appreciation for the diversity around us that usually goes unnoticed.
Denise Taylor, Girl Scout Troop 6 leader, Evanston, Illinois: I love the idea of my middle school girls spending time with scientists in the field. I want them to have the experience of discovering living things, and catching the enthusiasm of others who are also discovering living things.
Nancy Bigelow, Benito Juarez High School, Chicago, Illinois: This is a great opportunity for the kids to do some ‘real’ science, to be involved in data collection that will extend far beyond the classroom and beyond our school. Many of our students have never been to the Dunes, and I’m excited that all my students will get the opportunity to see it as more than just a really nice summer beach.
Photographs by James Beversdorf, John Roquet, Enrique Pulido, and Michael Kobe