BRDC has been busy with education programs, working with Galax Middle School, Fries School, Fairview Elementary, Grayson Highlands, Independence Elementary.
Grayson County's fourth grade students participated in the Natural Heritage Program with an emphasis on salamanders, toads, and frogs. Students learned about salamanders commonly found in the Blue Ridge. Using field guides, they researched different species of salamander and presented their discoveries to the class. The Eastern hellbender was a favorite among the students, as they were shocked by its prehistoric features. Students enjoyed watching a video about the life history of hellbenders provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Fifth grade students in Grayson County schools learned about frogs and toads. Students illustrated the life cycle of amphibians, learned the difference between frogs and toads, and listened to the calls of some of Virginia's common species. Many students had heard the calls before, but often didn't know what animal made the calls. The Virginia Herpetological Society's website is a great resource for determining different frog and toad calls: https://goo.gl/v84gqS.
After learning the calls of the American bullfrog, spring peeper, and American toad, students played a Frog and Toad matching game. Using a Peterson Guidebook to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, students matched the species name, picture, and description together.
Galax Middle School After School program has been learning all about aquatic species. BRDC brought aquatic insects from a local stream to the classroom where students got a first-hand look at the life found in our creeks. Students learned about the life cycle of the insects, and enjoyed fly tying with Executive Director Aaron Floyd.
In-school programming keeps BRDC's staff busy, but it is great to work with such a variety grade levels and see the enjoyment and wonder on the children's faces. To stay connected with BRDC follow us on Instagram @blueridgediscoverycenter.