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Science in Virginia

Our elementary science curriculum is built on the
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The state of Virginia is often called Old Dominion because, at one time, it appeared alongside the other British dominions (England, Scotland, and Wales) on the British royal shield. Virginia’s climate is generally mild, though it changes with the regions. The state is extremely diverse in terms of native plants, animals and native habitats. In fact, Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries states that within its borders, Virginia contains examples of every type of bird and animal habitat that naturally occurs between Florida to the south and Maine in the north. That’s a lot of different kinds of habitats!

Unfortunately, Virginia also has some non-native species that cause problems for its wildlife. One example is the sirex wood wasp. These insects are native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. They are thought to have been brought to Virginia unknowingly in wood used to make packing crates. These wasps are a problem for pine trees native to Virginia because when they lay their eggs under the bark of pine trees, they also spread a toxin that can hurt or kill the tree.

As your students study the processes of life and living systems, introduce them to the wildlife and habitats of Virginia. Help them notice native plants and animals in your schoolyard habitat, whether they’re flowering dogwood trees, bright cardinals, or others. You’ll be helping your students to use Virginia’s bountiful wildlife to meet state science standards.