Our Circle Teens and their mentors joined us at the Squam Lakes Science Center for a nature-based, experiential learning project called "The Upper Pond Adventure." This educational program was led by the Director of Education for the center, Audrey Eisenhauer and her assistant Judy. We collected so many different insects and creatures from the pond and learned about them all. Some of the most interesting included creatures like the Predacious Diving Beetle which uses a “captured” air bubble under its wings to provide air for underwater breathing, like a miniature scuba diver.
We identified other species as well, like the dragonfly and its larvae, water striders and caddisfly or larvae that build portable cases of debris to protect themselves from predators. One of the creepier crawlers we identified was a water scorpion. After ponding, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to play a wildlife game that allowed our teens to understand what it is like to be a migratory bird looking for a safe, undamaged habitat. We want to give a huge thank you to Audrey and everyone at Squam Lakes Science Center for educating us about pond life in our region. We will incorporate their ponding “paddles” techniques into our STEM and Nature curriculum in the coming year.