This fall, as part of its work to support the Allegany County Collaboration for Environmental Literacy (ACCEL), the EHC continued its grade-wide environmental education field trips. In addition to hosting visits by Head Start children (funded by the Kathleen Dailey Hill Foundation), and field trips for 7th grade Life Science and high school Earth/Space Science students (subsidized by the Chesapeake Bay Trust), the EHC added field trips for 3rd grade students County-wide (also subsidized by the CBT).
During their all-day field trips to the EHC, which supported their science lessons in the classroom, 3rd graders investigated decomposition and minute living things. As part of their outdoor experience, students participated in a mini-safari at the EHC, looking for signs of decomposition in the Evergreen Forest, searching for organisms that live under the forest’s fallen logs, and then collecting samples of minute living things in the Evergreen Pond habitat. Students also created their own field guides, by capturing their safari discoveries on paper. To provide further reinforcement of their EHC learning experience, the students’ teachers were provided with Extension Kits containing supplies and lesson plans for a second mini-safari in the students’ schoolyard.
As always, local college students had the opportunity to observe and/or assist EHC instructors in all EHC field trips, receiving valuable field experience and credentials for their resumes.
EHC field trips will continue in the spring as part of the ACCEL commitment to grade-level wide student participation. To date, participating 3rd graders increased their literacy on the science topic covered by 25% as measured by pre/post-tests conducted before and after their field trips.