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Ely students study ecosystems

By Staff | Sep 27, 2013

Chris Bieri/PCT Fourth-graders at Ely Elementary spent part of their day on Wednesday studying ecosystems in Ellery Park as part of a science project.

Fourth graders at Ely Elementary got to get a close-up look at their environment this week.

Students in Mrs. Kerry Grochow’s class studying ecosystems made the short trip to Ellery Park, to learn about how different parts of nature live and work together.

They were assisted by Rugby High School students from a science class taught by Mrs. Kari Francis.

The kids were in three different groups, studying trees and trying to get an up-close look at organisms in their natural setting.

“We come out and do all of the preliminary work,” said Grochow. “We try to find all of the living and non-living things in a one-meter square. Then Mrs. (Karen) Black takes pictures that magnify the items they find.”

The students did a number of studies from determining types of trees in the park to figuring out how old the trees were. Chris Bieri/PCT

Part of the fun is looking at the photos after. Black, a technology teacher, is able to digitally enlarge many times their normal size with great detail so the students can see the organisms from a different perspective than with the naked eye.

“One group is identifying trees, another is seeing how old the trees are,” Grochow said. “We’re trying to just put it all together.”

After the unit is done, the students will have a digital keepsake of the items they studied.

“They just love digging in the ground and finding things,” Grochow said. ” When they’re seniors they can look back and look at what they were doing in the fourth grade. It’s kind of a fun project.”

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