Yesterday, I met two 4th Grade classrooms at Vowles Elementary to do a forest ecology activity. Vowles is fortunate to have its own small woodlot right next to the school. Unfortunately, it doesn't get utilized - for most students, this was the first time they had ever entered it.
|Officially this is the McNeel Weber Woods|
|The woods is surrounded by chain link fence with a single entrance.|
|The trail into the Vowles woodlot|
A big push in academics right now is STEAM education - formerly known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), but with the addition of Art. Many conferences and workshops focus on how teachers can incorporate STEM/STEAM in the classroom. The activity that I had students engaged in incorporated several different aspects of STEAM.
Science - Students identified and described the leaves of various species of trees.
Technology - Students used calculators to perform difficult (for 4th Grade) math problems.
Engineering - Ok, nothing about this activity was engineering.
Art - Students not only had to identify and describe leaves, they also had to make detailed drawings.
Math - Students measured the circumference of trees and used that data to calculate diameter
|Measuring circumference of a tree|
|Working out the math...|
|The Art and Science of leaf identification|
|Two groups of students draw and identify leaves|