During the week of October 5th, 7th grade students in Ms. Kelly Kroesen’s classroom participated in an engaging and hands-on learning activity that simulated how real-world scientists and researchers study, track, and protect animals in the wild using radio telemetry technology! When using radio telemetry, scientists fit an animal they are studying with a small transmitter that emits a unique frequency of radio waves which can be identified and tracked using a radio receiver. The information gathered helps scientists to track and study the health, migration, and natural behaviors of the specific animal. Thanks to her previous training in a Conservation Science class for educators at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, Ms. Kroesen has been able to borrow a radio telemetry kit for a week-long learning activity for the past three years. This year’s activity centered around the endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged (MYL) Frog. The San Diego Zoo has established a breeding program for the endangered amphibian and utilizes radio telemetry to measure the success of the program.
To simulate the work of researchers at the San Diego Zoo, 7th graders used radio telemetry equipment to locate several stuffed-animal versions of MYL Frogs hidden around the Middle School campus. Authentic data tied to MYL Frogs in the wild were embedded in the transmitters attached to the stuffed-animal versions. As a result, students were able to evaluate the health of the frogs and overall effectiveness of the conservation program. Through the MYL Frog activity, students were able to connect real-world examples to grade level science standards such as ecosystems, biomes and how energy is passed through a food chain.
Thank you to the San Diego Zoo and Ms. Kroesen for providing our students an unforgettable learning experience!