For the fourteenth year in a row the Sixth grade has the opportunity to attend Nature’s Classroom in Ocean Park Maine for a week in May with all of the other sixth graders in the district. This trip began with the goal of bringing together sixth graders from the different schools in our district to work cooperatively on science tasks as teams. We hoped this would help the smooth the transition into middle school. The trip has been very successful in meeting the goals set out.
Nature’s Classroom is a science education program dedicated to active learning. The site-teachers work to create a living-learning community, integrating the social development of the group with outdoor experiences and science curricula. Nature’s Classroom is wonderful. The Students spend the week taking a variety of high interest science classes, and participate on a research team applying scientific inquiry skills to solve a problem or answer a question. Each team then works cooperatively to present findings at a special assembly.
One of the great things about the site we visit in Ocean Park is that the facility backs up against the “Rachel Carson” Nature Preserve, and offers a diverse range of habitats within a relatively small area. Students visit the old growth forest, the conifer forest, the estuary, the marsh, and ocean all within a short walk. It is a beautiful place.
During their time at Nature’s Classroom students sleep in a dorm style bunkhouse, and eat family style, kid friendly meals in the main hall. Nature’s Classroom employs site-teachers with strong science backgrounds and community building skills. Many are working on master’s degrees in science education. There are about 12 students per teacher, and students. On a daily basis, students choose classes based on their interests. Dissections, rocketry, and bridge building, and hot air balloons have been very popular in the past few years
I can answer questions you might have about the trip, and have attached some information forwarded from NC. The site-director, John Vandemeer, is tentatively scheduled to give an informational presentation at the Woodstock Middle School on (Tuesday, April 25th) in the MS gym. Parent drivers would be appreciated.
I love this week in the woods with the class. It is exhausting, but a wonderful opportunity. I love it because the bird watching is different and I see many interesting species. Please contact me if you have questions.
Trip Dates May (14-18 ) Departure and arrival from Union Arena in Woodstock
Departure: Monday 8:00 am Arrival: Friday 3:30 pm
I will send a packet home when we are closer to the trip.
See me if you have any questions.