Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Barry Elementary School sixth-grader Christopher McDuffy gets a close-up look at aquatic life through a microscope during the Conservation Field Days held at Camp Owahta on Friday in Solon.
Students enjoy the thrill of nature
SOLON — While bending over a barn owlet too young for feathers on Friday morning at Camp Owahta, one Cortland sixth-grade girl thought she knew exactly what the bird resembled: “Doesn’t he look like a pterodactyl?”
The girl was enjoying a presentation on falconry at the Conservation Field Days, held annually by the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District for county sixth-graders. The DeRuyter School District in Madison County also attended presentations this year for the first time, said Emily Walters, a conservation aide with the agency and the event’s coordinator.
The field days event took place Thursday and Friday.
Students attended several 20-minute presentations on a variety of topics, including bird migration, composting and compass navigation.
“They’re all in some way conservation related,” Walters said, adding the presentations also try to tie into what students are learning in the classroom.
The Conservation Field Days are a great way for students to get outside and learn about nature, instead of studying in a classroom, she said.
“I think sixth-graders are a good age to expose them to science,” said Amy Roe of the Cortland branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “There’s a lot going on that they might not be aware of.”