By Susan S .Linscott, Director of Outdoor and Environmental Programs
One of the challenges of our virtual classes this spring has been finding ways to continue to participate in outdoor learning experiences. In Environmental Science, students have selected a wildlife species to observe and document throughout the spring. They have been learning about vernal pools and collecting soil samples to study and share with their class. In Outdoor Education, Mrs. Arthers and I have challenged students to create an obstacle or challenge course element at home for their final project.
Recently, in Outdoor Education, students created and shared outdoor shelters. The objective of this project was to consider how they could build a shelter to stay safe if they had to spend the night in the woods. Students had to be creative and use the materials around them to build a sturdy and comfortable shelter. They used their problem solving skills, got to work, and as you can see, built some great structures.
For the next activity for our outdoor family challenge, we would like to invite children and families to go outside and build a fort. This activity is a great way to get outside and be creative. In addition to getting exercise and fresh air, children can use their imagination, problem solving, and team-work and communication skills as they look for materials and create their fort. This was one of my favorite activities as a child. An old apple tree with low branches and remains of stone walls provided perfect bases for the branches that my brothers or friends and I collected. Our imaginations would run wild as we envisioned ourselves living in the woods or hiding out.
Please send us photos of your fort. The goal of this blog to encourage families to go outside and the Community Service Club and Envirothon team is hosting a competition for area children in the following age groups: grades preK-2, 3-5, and 6-8. In June, we will choose two individual winners from each age group for the greatest participation and most creative entries from our activities throughout the spring. Winners will receive a prize that will keep them playing outside. You can send your photos to email@example.com or the Lee Academy Facebook page (#LeeAcademyNatureChallenge). Photos should be shared by a parent or guardian. This competition is open to children throughout the area, including the towns that send students to MSAD#30 schools, Lee Academy, and surrounding communities.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Lee Academy “Get Outside” blog and don’t forget to get outside and share your pictures with us! Thank you to all of you who picked up for Earth Day, contributed to our bottle drive for the food cupboard, and shared your pictures! Local Girl Scout Troop 2126 did an awesome job with their Earth Day clean up efforts!