Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Guest Blog - Learning about the natural world all around us


 By Megan Stoessell, Lincoln School Guest Blogger

In a brand new partnership with Save The Bay, Lincoln School’s lower school students are spending time with Save The Bay educators this year on a hands-on natural science curriculum. From a live fish tank installed at the school for animal collections, to shoreline and habitat exploration, to benthic trawls and much more, Lincoln students are enjoying a year of real-world experiences that connect classroom learning to the natural world around them. Megan Stoessell took a few minutes to share a little of last week’s visit with us:

It truly is the little things. Like riding the white-and-green bus to a field trip in Providence. And, on this sun-dappled day, learning about plankton, or "tiny sea creatures," as Victory Barnard ventured a guess.

Turns out, plankton are animals and plants. Which is "really cool," enthused Jen Kelly, an education specialist at Save The Bay, whose partnership with Lincoln School brought the first graders to the organization’s waterside center.

The seven students agreed. "They're really important in the ocean and in the Narragansett Bay, right out there, because they're food for lots of things," Kelly explained.
"I was surprised a jellyfish was plankton!" Victory added, while breaking for a healthy snack because, after all, girls need nourishment, too.

And if that wasn't exciting enough, Kelly showed a photo of a jellyfish bigger than a scuba diver. But pictures have nothing on the real deal.

"Sometime we get to hold the creatures," Mia Quattromani offered as the best part. Today that would be plankton, naturally, "caught off the dock this morning," Kelly shared.

Because you can't catch plankton back on campus, hence the beauty of this partnership. "They've gotten a different education than they would at school," teacher Alyssa Anderson observed. It's "the hands-on thing."