ANN ARBOR---Elementary school children in Ann Arbor, Melvindale, and Detroit are trekking through the wild---at least, the "wild" life around their schoolyards. With handheld computers at their side, these budding biologists are studying the biodiversity around their schools using software originally developed by professional animal trackers in Africa.
The program, called BioKIDS: Kids Inquiry of Diverse Species, is made possible through the cooperative efforts of the University of Michigan's School of Education and Museum of Zoology, and the Interagency Education Research Initiative (National Science Foundation, Department of Education and theNational Institute on Health). Uniting students, teachers, and biologists, BioKIDS allows students to use a variety of program-specific computer resources to explore how and why animals and humans interact. The students, employing the outdoors as their science lab, ultimately develop field guides for their fellow students to view.