Students from Col. Zadok Magruder High School will join staff from the Smithsonian Institution at the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center in Rockville on Tuesday, April 22, at 10:00 a.m. to begin setting up a biodiversity area for the Montgomery County Public Schools for field studies in biology and environmental science.
Working with staff from the Environmental Education Center, the high school students will share the data they collect -- including information about tree growth, insect and mammal study, and soil analysis -- with Smithsonian scientists for use in comparative studies. The Smithsonian has helped establish similar plots in Virginia, but this is the first site in Montgomery County, and the Smithsonian is supplying equipment. The Environmental Education Center is located at 5110 Meadowside Lane in Rockville.
Students involved in the effort are from the Magruder Science Institute, a four-year academy established at the high school this year to offer high-level academic challenges to students who have a deep interest in science.
Under the direction of the school's science resource teacher Thelma Newman, students in Advanced Placement environmental science and research design will be measuring a one square hectare of land (that's 100 x 100 meters) and marking it off into grids, conducting a tree census, and tagging trees with scientific names, among other field study and research activities.