Students gardening in their schoolyard

Project-Based Science

Grade 7
Aptos Junior High
Aptos, CA

Major Objectives

  • Increase biodiversity of the schoolyard and counteract habitat loss by attracting birds
  • Inspire students to take action and make a difference for the environment


Students at Aptos Junior High researched, designed and implemented a plan to improve the health and biodiversity of their schoolyard. They began by collecting data on the number and types of birds they found in their schoolyard, then researched the needs of native birds and created proposals to add native plants to the schoolyard. After evaluating each proposal, students reached consensus on a plan and planted an area behind the science classroom. Students will continue to monitor biodiversity to determine if this conservation action has a positive effect on the number and type of birds that visit their schoolyard.

Notes from the Field

"Developing a connection to the local environment has inspired students to pay closer attention to the natural world and care more deeply about it."