Last Tuesday John and I got to spend the afternoon with the eager students of the local Shearwater Elementary school. Thanks to a Greengrant from theWorld Wildlife Fund, PacificWILD has teamed up with Shearwater Elementary on a new remote camera project, providing students a new and exciting experiential learning opportunity.
On Tuesday we introduced the students to pacificWILD, the project, and the cameras that we will be using. The cameras are motion-sensored, infra-red, and take both still and video footage. They are waterproof, small, and easy for the students to operate. In addition to how to use the cameras, we talked about why we use them in our work, what animals we might see on them, how to differentiate various habitat, and where we could put the cameras to maximize their potential. To get them used to using these cameras, we set them up in the schoolyard and let the students act like some of the animals we might see. Back inside, we played back the footage for them. The students got such a delight out of watching themselves growl like bears, hop like rabbits, and walk like wolves!
On Thursday we returned to the school with the cameras and set out on a nature hike. We scoured the ground for fresh scat or tracks and discussed some of the ways to choose a camera site. Working in groups, the students chose where to position their cameras and secured them the best they could.
Tomorrow is the best part – we will retrieve the cameras and each group will get to watch the footage they recorded over the last 4 days!