Smokies programs just for young scientists

High school students, recent graduates and their families can spend time in the field with a park ranger conducting scientific projects such as salamander monitoring, tree identification and mapping, and water quality assessments this summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The programs help park researchers perform important studies while providing young people opportunity to get involved in science and in their national park in a fun and interesting way. Held July 8 and July 23. Registration required. 865.436.1713.

A similar volunteer scientist field day for middle school students will be held August 13.

• Kids 10 years of age or older can learn about some of the tiny creatures that are part of the amazing biodiversity of the Smokies. A park ranger will set up microscopes and other scientific equipment for participants to collect and view microscopic invertebrates such as water bears, also known scientifically as tardigrades. These eight-legged creatures, the “other bears” of the Smokies, exist in mosses, liverworts, and lichens.

The program will be held at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, a facility supporting the park’s education programs, on the Tennessee-side of the park. Held July 13 and August 5.

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