Sixth Graders Tackle Case Study Starring Nearby Species

Sixth Graders Tackle Case Study Starring Nearby Species

Our sixth grade science students recently engaged in problem-based learning while exploring a case study involving common snapping turtles and goslings, two species that live in Galloway’s Hamburger Pond. They learned about the process of conducting an environmental science study from our very own expert Dr. Lore Ruttan, former Emory professor of Environmental Studies and current UL visual arts teacher.

Students visited the nearby Amphibian Foundation to learn more about turtles, observing a variety of native turtles, including a common snapping turtle. After researching multiple perspectives and possible outcomes, students then used scientific evidence to support their particular position in a letter of recommendation: Who should be allowed to stay in the pond: the snapping turtles or the goslings?

After conducting their research, our science students unanimously came to the conclusion that both species should stay in the pond. 

One group wrote, “Our main reason to support this is that snapping turtles are eaten just as much as goslings, by each other, and by other predators. For this reason, it would not make sense to move or relocate either one, because the other one would still be eaten regularly. We also believe that wildlife is wildlife, and should not be messed with.”

Another echoed their suggestion, adding, “Leaving the animals alone will let nature take its course like it’s supposed to, and we won’t be interrupting the circle of life.”

What a great example of problem-based learning at work…right in our backyard!