BGSU, community partners to help local fifth graders study, preserve natural habitats

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Bowling Green State University is teaming up with community partners to help fifth graders from Bowling Green City Schools study and preserve natural habitats with the first-ever "BioBlitz BG" from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Wintergarden Park in Bowling Green.

The free environmentally focused event will teach Bowling Green fifth graders how to observe nature as citizen scientists to help preserve natural habitats in their community.

During "BioBlitz BG," each student will document the number of plants and animals found in Wintergarden Park and then tally their results at the end of the day. The student-collected data will then be uploaded to the iNaturalist platform, a learning application used for scientific data collection and conservation.

Students will also participate in the Global Learning and Observation of the Environment (GLOBE) program, observing clouds and measuring air, surface and soil temperatures to compare prairie habitats. The data will be uploaded to share with scientists who use GLOBE data to better monitor the earth. Students will also build their own bee house, providing native bees with a home to enhance pollination in natural habitats.

“We are thrilled to offer this type of outdoor learning event for students to participate as citizen scientists," said Dr. Jodi Haney, professor emeritus of Science and Environmental Education at BGSU. "Students, with help from BGSU Early and Inclusive Childhood Education undergraduates, will collect and share environmental data using the GLOBE Observer app, a citizen science tool. This tool was built to encourage citizens to participate in real environmental science to help monitor and sustain our planet."

Dr. Emilio Duran, professor and director of the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in STEM Education (NWO STEM) at BGSU, hopes the first-ever "BioBlitz BG" will grow to become an annual event.

“STEM education and inquiry-based learning are so important and engaging young students in this type of activity is part of our mission," Duran said.

With generous support from the Lubrizol Corporation, NWO STEM at BGSU is partnering with the Toledo Zoo and the City of Bowling Green to put on this year's "BioBlitz BG" event.

"BioBlitz BG" is part of a larger event taking place the week of Sept. 20 at schools and communities across the country.

Updated: 09/27/2021 09:56AM