Two East Aurora High School educators recently accompanied 100 freshman students to the Le Roy Forest Preserve in St. Charles for a Biology Biodiversity field study. East High collaborated with the staff from the Kane County Forest Preserve.
Biology teachers Karie Nash and Stephanie Malon arranged for the field study, which was funded in part through a $1,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“In freshman biology, we teach an ecology unit in which students study various ecosystems,” said Nash. “The field study gave our students the opportunity to observe natural, local ecosystems. It really helps shift their understanding of ecology topics from conceptual to real.”
Groups of students rotated through four stations. The students participated in a brush clean up to help the forest preserve maintain its natural ecosystem. They also participated in a guided hike led by a forest ranger, while they observed different environments at the park.
Students were able to see how each environment has different biodiversity levels and were able to identify invasive species.
“We are grateful for our students to have this unique opportunity,” said Nash. “Generous grants like the one provided by the INDR provide our students with meaningful experiences.”