By Nick Sestanovich
As the global coronavirus outbreak has forced schools to close, many teachers have had to adapt to virtual learning. Peggy Harte, a science teacher at Gretchen Higgins Elementary School in Dixon, wanted to make sure students were continuing to learn important science lessons while also getting outside.
Harte set up a lab through the platform iNaturalist to enable students to document the various plant and animal species they find.
“So much of the research shows that just physically being outside helps people’s stress levels, helps people’s emotional needs as well just being in an outdoor space,” she said. “With all the stress that these little kids are under, I thought it was just a simple way for students to go outside, engage in some science and be able to feel like they’re contributing while still being in their own backyard.”