Learning outside in nature among the trees is like no other classroom. Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math.
Students in outdoor science programs improved science scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research 2005). Studies also show that access to green spaces enhance peace, self control and self discipline and reduces stress.
Being in a green environment is a great way to learn coping skills. Our students love working outside listening to the birds, the rustling of leaves above all while learning.
We learn in unconventional ways, not sitting in a seat for hours. Our students are moving and actively participating and they become part of the whole body experience of kinesthetic learning.
Our natural playground it is a very popular place, our students love to play and learn about surface water tension. We extend learning by talking about interesting things. Young children love the outdoors and are fascinated with water. Engaging in rich conversations about water currents, flows and the impact it has on each of of us make every lesson interesting.
Did you know that the more time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness? (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011). When children are within proximity to, views of and daily exposure to natural setting it increases their ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).
Having this contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of ADD in children (Kuo and Taylor, 2004). We encourage our students to have sensory rich experiences whenever they are at our program and especially during our STEM studies. Children that attend programs in nature are more likely to engage in more creative forms of play and play more cooperatively.
When we are outdoors we take advantage of the big blue AZ sky. Children like being outdoors it makes you feel alive and all of our senses are fully engaged. Our curriculum focuses on STEM in Nature and making connections and an appreciation for the natural world.
In our outdoor lab we learn problem solving skills, sequential thought, and math concepts. Our students learn to work with test tubes, eye droppers, funnels, beakers, tweezers, microscopes and slides. Students love going on nature walks and gathering samples from nature and looking at organisms under the microscope. Imagine learning about the world for the first time with all the wonderment from a child's perspective.
Many of our experiments strengthen young hands and fingers, when we use tweezers we are strengthening our finger dexterity skills. Many of the skills we practice in the lab transfer to the classroom. For example, increasing our finger strength helps students hold pencils correctly and for longer periods of time. In Kindergarten we print our names. Learning to write for long periods can be uncomfortable. Our lessons are created to build skills needed for primary schools. Our program is very intentional we choose our lessons carefully, our intention is to create a smooth transition and the best environment for your child to love learning.
The Ways We Learn About STEM
In Our Outdoor Classrooms