It is hard to believe that our first 2 field trips are already behind us. We were lucky with the weather for 4 out of 6 field trips, but even with a couple chilly days, the kids had a ball. I hope your children shared what they learned and experienced hands-on during the 2 trips. Did your son or daughter tell you about the Pumpkin Smash? What child wouldn't like to be told to smash a pumpkin? It was great! Oh, but that was only one small part of the learning. Students weighed a pumpkin on a scale; however, before it could be weighed they learned to read an analog scale. Next, with a measuring tape the kids determined the circumference of their pumpkins and completed a data sheet, just like a scientist. Students worked in pairs with new friends from other schools. On Day 2, Miss Dianne took the kids on a hike. The budding young environmental scientists discovered rocks made smooth by years of erosion from the melting of glaciers leftover from the ice age. Did your children tell you that Ms. Dianne brought them to the secret steps? I look forward to seeing the children again in the spring. I have already scheduled class visits. Mrs. Amber and I go into each of the six classrooms and give each class a preview of what they will learn during the spring visit. I will give a hint, "Worms." Enjoy the photos!
Our Day 1 field trip is excited because it is the first time the students get to see Flanders. The place they were told about and pictured in their heads comes to life. We were lucky to have 3 beautiful days for all 3 field trips, which makes Flanders Nature Center that much more fun and beautiful. Besides learning about pumpkins and bird migration, the students get to visit the barn animals. This visit isn't just for fun; the kids have to try to find which animal's fur is the same as the samples that Ms. Dianne had them observe under microscopes. Your son/daughter will explain if you are a bit confused. The kids were allowed to get up close to sheep, piglets, goats, chickens, rabbits, and horses, but not close enough to get their fingers anywhere close to their mouths. The last rotation I have to mention is called Seed Dispersal. In this lesson, students explore plants to observe how seeds travel from the different plant varieties. For example, so seeds travel by the wind, others by animals that brush by and the seeds stick to their fur or hair, or by by the fruit the plant or tree bare that animals eat. How do you think those seeds travel? More photos have been added below from Day 1.
Day 1 was a blast for the kids! Kids and teachers love being at the North Barn. You are never too old to enjoy barn animals. It was a beautiful day for a tractor ride to start of the Migration Station Lesson. In this rotation, students learned the environmental factors that occur during bird migration. It looks like it would be fun to fly in the skies, but due to pollution, droughts, and predators, it is a challenging mission for birds to get to their winter habitat. If you ask your student he/she may say they played a fun game while learning about migration. They are correct; they did.
Another rotation, Pumpkin Smash, was literally a smash! Does a pumpkin sink or float? Dump it into a bucket of water and test at home. Then if you are lucky enough to have a big patch of grass, your student can show you how one student was picked to smash a pumpkin for everyone to see the insides. The kids were excited to get pumpkins!
Welcome students, teachers, and parents. The Flander's field trips are underway. We have had spectacular weather, aside from one rain-out, but the make-up date for next week looks promising. Prior to the trips at Flanders Nature Center, myself, Mrs. Lauren and a Flander's Educator, either Mrs. Amber or Mrs. Lorianne visit the teachers and students participating in this year's program. The schools and districts this year are Carrington School in Waterbury, Judson and Polk School in Watertown, The Sherman School in Sherman, Lincoln School in New Britain and Vogel-Wetmore School in Torrington. We welcome new this year, Sherman and Watertown, plus 2 new classes from Vogel-Wetmore School. During the class visits, we spend a short time providing tips to the teachers and students to ensure they know what to wear and bring the day of their field trip. We also give them a sneak preview into the scientific tools they will be using to investigate nature, and what they will be learning at their time at Flanders Nature Center. Enjoy the pictures.
Day 2 at Flanders offered a invigorating hike climbing up hills and down challenging rocky paths with Ms. Dianne. While out in the fresh air, the students observed erosion, remnants of the ice age, and rock walls that were once used as borders to neighboring farms. With Ms. Amber, the children investigated minerals. Each student mined a cookie, which represented a rock, rocks are made of many minerals, like a cookie is made up of ingredients. Did you know that many household products are made from minerals? Ms. Lorianne worked with the children to create pollution, yes, they polluted the streams and ponds with kool-aid, chocolate morsels and liquid chocolate syrup. A plastic table size land model, called an Enviroscape, provided students with a visual replica of a community. The edible pollutants showed how everyday human actions cause pollution. Ask your child how we can help keep our water cleaner. Lastly, Dr.Ed facilitated a lesson called "Dragon Fly Pond." The students became business and home owners, conservationist, and farmers. Your children became town planners! Each group planned a community that would benefit the contingency group to which they belonged?
Ninety-six students from Carrington School in Waterbury and Johnson School in Bethel came together for Day 1 of Flanders Academy of Science Exploration. The children participated in 4 hands on, educational, and investigative rotations. Ms Dianne talked about animal skins. Next,the students observed a variety of animal furs then had to match the correct fur to the animal. The kids are experts at using microscopes! Miss Amber had the students counting pumpkin sections. Did you know that the more sections a pumpkin has the more seeds it contains. They also measured the pumpkins circumference and hypothesized about whether or not it would float. Will it float or not? (It will because it is hollow on the inside.)The kids went on a hayride with Dr. Ed. Mrs. Lauren tagged along to lead a sing a long. The hayride brought the students to a large open field. The kids became birds and learned about the hazards bird face on their journey to a warmer climate. Birds are always on the move!!!!
The first field trip to Flanders Nature Center is October 2. The Flanders educators, Miss Amber, Ms Lorianne, Ms Dianne, and Dr. Ed will be waiting with me, Mrs. Lauren, of Education Connection for the arrival of students from Johnson School in Bethel, and Carrington School in Waterbury. The following week, October 9, students from Lincoln School in New Britain and Vogel Wetmore School in Torrington will be at Flanders for their first visit of the school year. Stay tuned for a peek into Day 1 at Flanders Academy of Science!