Last week MERO got a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the coolest labs on campus. The Flight Lab studies the way birds and other animals fly to inspire and engineer the next generation of flight technologies. In the lab we got to stand inside a wind tunnel which researchers use to study how birds and small planes respond to turbulence and other wind conditions. We then walked across campus (taking lots of selfies along the way) to the cactus garden, where we used the lab's high speed cameras to take slow-motion videos of birds flying in the wild.
Taking a peek inside the wind tunnel.
Using a high speed camera to take super slow-motion videos of birds in the Stanford cactus garden.
Last weekend we did the first ever MERO backpacking trip! After loading up our packs and giving a big 'arriba MERO!' group cheer, we hit the trails at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in the East Bay. Only two of our students had ever been camping before, so this was a really cool experience and something totally new for all of them!
Laying out the gear at the trailhead.
This backpack's bigger than me!
Lunch consisted of a big stack of sandwiches prepped the night before.
Hanging out around camp...get it??
Posing for a photo after exploring one of Black Diamond Mine's namesake abandoned mines. This one went back almost 200 feet!
The calm before the storm...enjoying a few quiet moments before everyone wakes up!
This week we took some of our participants from last year's MERO group out on a reunion hike at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. It was a lot of fun to get back out in the field with these familiar faces!
Having a picnic dinner looking out over the Bay. Sure missed those ham and cheese sandwiches we make every week!
Got a flat driving back to the school, so we got the chance to teach the students how to change a tire! Building those important life skills is what we're all about!
Welcome to La Mera Ciencia, the official blog of Menlo-Atherton Ecology Research Outdoors (MERO). Founded in 2017, MERO is a free, after-school environmental education program for high school English Language Learners that gets students outside doing ecology. Mero (or mera for feminine words like ciencia) is Spanish for "legit" or "the real thing", which is exactly the kind of science we do in the MERO program!