Tennessee Aquarium event uses animals to teach kids about backyard wildlife

Tennessee Aquarium will offer opportunities to learn about Southeastern animal species, such as this Virginia opossum, during Backyard Scientist Night on April 6. (John Bamber Photo)

With spring's arrival, the world is beginning to reawaken: Dormant trees pop with color and native wildflowers are emerging from the ground.

There's a lot of beauty happening in nature, yet countless digital distractions keep children from noticing. They can't see the forest for their screens.

This "nature-deficiency" is easy enough to cure, says Dr. Brooke Gorman, director of science education at the Tennessee Aquarium.

"By getting (children) out in the world, you can give them a different perspective on their lives and the world around them," she says. "Connecting with nature is important because it helps us feel grounded and more relaxed. It helps us to step away from the screens and really engage with the world around us and with each other."

To encourage this, the Tennessee Aquarium is hosting Backyard Scientist night on Friday, April 6.