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A Spring of Science & Sustainability

The end of the semester was an exciting one for the School with its sustainability efforts recognized nationally—and with the highly anticipated return of BioBlitz.

Earlier this spring, Principia School was named a 2022 Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, a prestigious honor that recognizes top schools around the nation that share a commitment to sustainable practices. Principia was one of only two schools in Missouri to earn the distinction. In July, Principia School will be celebrated during a recognition ceremony in Washington D.C., for its strong leadership in facilities, health, environmental education, and achievement of equity. 

Principia offers abundant opportunities for students to learn about sustainability in the most hands-on way possible. One example is BioBlitz. From our youngest preschool scientists to our intrepid explorers in Middle School, students of all ages came together to learn about the diverse flora and fauna on campus during a two-day event of scientific exploration. 

Students surveyed ponds, forests, and creek beds, spotting insects, turtles, and birds alongside naturalist experts who led the young scientists through the forests and meadows of the School’s 360-acre campus. 

Principia’s BioBlitz allowed students to put on their scientist hats for a day, offering a snapshot of the many species that live on (or pass through) campus. Scores of plant, animal, and insect species were studied with the help of iNaturalist, an online citizen science project. In addition to wildlife and plantlife exploration, this year’s BioBlitz was a community affair, featuring s’mores, plein air painting, and early-morning birding for adults. 

Upper School science teacher Lynne Scott (C’01), who has participated in several BioBlitzes in the St. Louis region, has been instrumental in bringing this nationally popular citizen-science event to the School. 

“Communities around the country—and the world—use BioBlitzes to expand their understanding of nature, and we are so excited to continue this special tradition that incorporates fun and science at Principia School,” said Scott. “This is a wonderful opportunity to connect the public to talented scientists in the field who can inspire and inform our community about the rich flora and fauna in the area.”

"As a recently recognized Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, Principia is excited to be hosting our third BioBlitz this year,” said Interim Head of School Tami Gavaletz. “This is just one more avenue for our School to instill an appreciation for nature and conservation while educating our students (and community) about how they can make a positive impact. It keeps getting better and better.”

green ribbon teacher recipient