Our Wisconsin charter school uses scientific research and project-based learning as the focus of our curriculum. Project learning is based on a constructivist model of learning that engages you in real-world scholarly activity because you get to chose topics that interest you.
Posted on April 8, 2013 by Gabe Gerdes
This spring, two groups of Wildlands students had the desire to get outside and do some filed work, but with the recent weather, finding a project we could do was difficult. After talking with Mr. Tweed about it, he gave us the idea to put out a dead deer on Beaver Creek Reserve to survey the amount of scavengers that visited the deer. We put the deer and camera out on February 25th and finished on April 2nd.
To start our project, on of the students, Andrew Z., brought in a deer after his dad found one on the side of the road. With only one deer, both teams were unsure how to proceed. After a few discussions, we decided to put up two cameras on the same deer to get as much data as possible and make sure both teams could participate. We chose to put the deer on the southern part of Beaver Creek, out of the way of the trails. Once we had the deer and the cameras in place, all we had to do was check the cameras every other day and put the pictures on our computers.
On our camera, the first animal that came to the deer was a fisher. We found this surprising because we had thought that a bird would find the deer first. In total our team got 27 pictures of fishers, 50 pictures of bald eagles, 6 pictures of juvenile bald eagles, 4 pictures of deer, 26 pictures of red tailed hawks, 13 pictures of the grey fox, and 98 pictures of crows. With the data that we got we will be able to find the number of individual animal and we learned the variety of the scavengers that are in the woods around us.
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In the winter of 2011, Wildlands Charter School students began producing news stories for our website and an electronic email newsletter.
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