South-Doyle Middle joins Nature Challenge

Susan EspirituOur Town Youth, South Knox

The full Nature Challenge bioblitz was held at South-Doyle Middle School on Friday, April 26, and Monday, April 29. Two sixth grade science classes plus the 6-8 science enrichment class held class outside to investigate and document the biodiversity on and around the campus.

Shelby Sutton uses the iNaturalist app to log her findings

Science teacher Dylan Edens said his students all loved getting outside for class. He explained how they had downloaded the iNaturalist app the day before class and came to school ready to share what they observed at home.

When everyone got outside, he said many of his students were amazed to find so much biodiversity in such a short amount of time. They were able to observe the native and invasive species that they had have been studying inside the classroom and learned much more through their own curiosity.

Jen Sauer, the middle school science enrichment teacher, shared her highlights: “Getting to see students excited about what we have here on campus, which really is a lot! Mac Post from the Sierra Club was with us and we were able to observe a mother Downy Woodpecker feed her young. The students were so quiet and attentive.”

Other than South-Doyle students, there were various hikes/investigations happening at Ijams and around Knoxville during the same weekend.

Jen Sauer reported overall 1,368 species were identified in the greater Knoxville area over the 4-day period of the City Nature Challenge.  View the community and South-Doyle observations here.

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