Student Projects

Critters On Camera

Authors: Stephanie Roccon, Debbie Spellman Smith, Estelle Hilmen, Shelley Glenn Lee

Grade: 5th

Subjects: Math, Science

Photo of Coyote captured with field camera.
Students give presentation for HTENC Critters On Camera project.
Students give presentation for HTENC Critters On Camera project.
HTENC Critters On Camera project Exhibition
A skunk visits the classroom for HTENC's Critters On Camera project.
HTENC student takes photos with tablet.
HTENC students take field notes for on project.
HTENC students work on project in classroom.
Two HTENC studentsexplore Critters On Camera.
HTENC Critters On Camera project Exhibition

Why is it important to live in harmony with native species?

How can we, as citizen scientists, use data to support wildlife conservation in San Diego?

This project will engage students as citizen scientists and introduce them to the unique diversity of San Diego’s native wildlife.Using GPS technology, a citizen science app, and digital photo libraries, students will be conducting authentic and important research about the health and diversity of an area in and around Lake Hodges located in Escondido, California.

Citizen science is defined as members of the general public participating in scientific research, either by collecting data, analyzing data, or contributing in some way to a scientific investigation. The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) has recently begun a multi-species citizen science project that includes surveying and monitoring birds, mammals, and plants within the San Dieguito River Park. Using GPS technology, a citizen science app, and digital photo libraries, students will be conducting authentic and important research about the health and diversity of an area in and around Lake Hodges located in Escondido, California. Through this project, our students will have the opportunity to collect, analyze, and interpret data from thousands of photos collected with camera traps within the park. They will use their experience to create a camera trap identification guide that will be used by other students in the county to participate in citizen science. Additionally, based on the data collected, students will identify an inquiry question to research and present to the SDRVC Board of Directors and San Dieguito River Park Rangers through a poster presentation at the end of the trimester.

Products and Deliverables: Photo trap camera, identification guide, Scientific research posters

Science

While exploring the concept of interdependence of organisms within an ecosystem (in this case, the San Dieguito watershed) students will engage in a variety of scientific practices, including: asking questions; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; using mathematics; constructing explanations; engaging and arguing from evidence; and obtaining, evaluating and communicating information. Reading/Writing Students will read and write informational text including creating inquiry questions. Students will read and comprehend informational texts, provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details, and use precise language and vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. Also, students will provide a concluding statement related to the information or explanation presented.

 

Math/Technology

Students will graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems, using grid maps, google earth and GPS waypoints in the field (Lake Hodges) and in the classroom. Students will represent and interpret data with bee pinning from their own backyards, camera traps located at Bernardo Bay, and animal tracks from native species both in the field (Lake Hodges) and in the Science Lab.

 

San Dieguito River Park, San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, Lake Hodges, Jess Norton, Conservation Manager, Critter Encounters, Project Wildlife, San Diego Safari Park

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