Today Mr Bruton’s Science class was learning about invasive species and their impact upon the environment. In a timely manner a small spider showed up on the lab ceiling; providing the perfect ‘real world’ demonstration of today’s lesson. This prompted a discussion about ecology and the animals that prey on invasive species. This was the perfect chance for students to bring their learning to life. Olivia Camera introduced the students to the Spidentify app and helped the Year 7’s to use the apps dichotomous key to narrow down the number of possible species. Using the shape of their visitors abdomen and legs, its markings and whether or not it had a web, the students were able to conclude that the spider was likely to be from the Orange-Legged Swift Spider family.
Fear and loathing soon turned into interest and empathy and the little spider was gently released outside to continue doing it’s ecological good.