Sixth-graders at Comstock Park school win 'Year in the Life of a Bear' contest

Contact: Hannah Schauer, 517-284-6218
Agency: Natural Resources

May 16, 2017

group of students with teacher with trees in backgroundThe Department of Natural Resources congratulates Jill Teegardin’s sixth-grade class at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Comstock Park, Michigan, on winning the 2016-17 Year in the Life of a Bear contest.

This group of sixth-graders participated in the “A Year in the Life of a Michigan Black Bear” education program throughout the 2016-17 school year and applied what they learned about Michigan black bears to create an informational presentation.

See their winning presentation.

“It was a great opportunity for students to share what they learned,” Teegardin said about her students who participated in the contest.

Classrooms that meet the requirements of the education program are eligible to submit an entry to the Year in the Life of a Bear contest.

The “A Year in the Life of a Michigan Black Bear” education program is free of charge and open to all interested sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade educators in Michigan.

Participants will learn about the life cycle of the Michigan black bear, general black bear biology and behavior, as well as how the DNR manages and maintains a healthy black bear population.

Over the school year participants also will get to “follow” a bear by using actual data points from a radio-collared Michigan black bear. Participants will get to follow the bear through its seasonal movements to see what it is like in a year in the life of a Michigan black bear.

“I wish more people knew about the program and took advantage of it,” said Teegardin. “It was a fun way to incorporate real-life experiences into the classroom.”

Teegardin’s two seventh-grade classes also participated in the education program and submitted contest entries to win second and third place.

View the second-place presentation and the third-place presentation.

Teegardin and her students will be awarded a $1,000 gift certificate to purchase science supplies for their classroom. Prizes are provided by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association and the DNR.

To learn more about wildlife education programs for the classroom or to register to participate in the upcoming school year, visit mi.gov/dnrteachers and click on the Wildlife Education and Outreach link.  

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

An accompanying photo is available for download below. Suggested caption:

The sixth- and seventh-graders of Holy Trinity Catholic School in Comstock Park, Michigan, pictured here with their teacher Jill Teegardin, won the 2016-17 Year in the Life of a Bear contest.