Breakfast for humans often starts with a cup of coffee, eggs, and toast. For the birds, however, it starts with a game of I Spy! The 4th and 5th graders of Washington County Schools learned this Wednesday, June 5th, when the Blue Ridge Discovery Center taught a lecture on camouflage. Prey are often easily missed or mistaken for less appetizing forms of energy making hunting a challenge for predators and their families. This was exemplified through a difficult scavenger hunt that even had some of the adults scratching their heads! In the end, students gathered their findings to force conclusions about the shortfalls and triumphs of their hunts. Though there were different teams, they all came to the same conclusion: prey can integrate their appearance with the surrounding environment in a way that masks them from predators’ vision. This use of camouflage acts as a defense mechanism and protects the species at hand from becoming someone else’s breakfast!
On June 11th we traveled back to Washington County to work with 1st - 3rd graders. There we discussed insects, their different body parts, and what differentiates them from other bugs. Later, the students used their knowledge of insects to perform an insect scavenger hunt and make Father’s Day cards!