On Staten Island, these students are doing real science. Salamanders, their teacher explains, are easily ignored, yet can be a bellwether for ecological changes. So these New York middle-schoolers are collecting data for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. They and their teachers are turning over rocks, nosing through leaf litter, and learning how to find, identify, and evaluate the population of salamanders in their parks and other green spots of the city.
COMMENT: Real kids, real science. Is there a better way to motivate the scientists of the future? Every city and town in the country should be doing projects like this.