On May 6th, students from Galax Middle School took a trip up 5,946’ to the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. There they had the opportunity to learn about the various flora and fauna that inhabit the mountains’ 16 distinct ecosystems.
The students took a tour through the Nature Museum and learned about the natural history of the mountain, then had the opportunity to conduct their own field research with education specialist and naturalist, Amy Renfranz. Renfranz helped the students each set up their own 10x10 meter plot where they observed soil quality, species diversity and practiced their naturalist skills.
During their trip to the mountain, the students discovered many different kinds of plants and animals; including pinkshell azalea, bear corn, and red-backed and gray cheeked salamanders! The students finished their trip to Grandfather Mountain by visiting the resident bald eagles and bears.