[Photo]: ECMS-I Students during their NatureBridge experience.
By Tatiana Lazaro
May 3, 2016
Each year 7th grade students from Environmental Charter Middle School (ECMS) in Inglewood, California say the biggest highlight of their year is the outdoor educational experience they gain from NatureBridge’s Santa Monica Mountains program. The girls of ECMS come with a prior educational curriculum with the outdoors and they enhance that background knowledge with hands-on experience in the natural construction of watersheds, invertebrates and vertebrates found in ponds, an abundance of plant identification, and an interactive energy lesson on past and present fossil fuels.
Not only were the girls enthusiastic about what they saw at each corner on their The Grotto Trail hike, but they also learned how to help each other in difficult times along the way. If one of the girls had a problem hiking up or down a steep rock, everyone encouraged them to keep going.
Leadership values were shown throughout the group, as well as creativity. When it came to working with each other during lessons, the girls shined by bringing in all aspects learned prior to the program and incorporating those aspects with materials learned throughout their stay with NatureBridge.
Another highlight was seeing a baby dragonfly for the first time. The 7th graders were so intrigued to learn about the dragonfly’s evolution. They were also able to touch a newt for the first time and learn from their Educator how important water is to the salamander family. It is truly amazing to see how much motivation the students received from their Educator and how enthusiastic they were to expand their knowledge in science.
After observing for one day, it became obvious to me how NatureBridge influences students to better their future and continue to illuminate their path toward environmental literacy.
Written by Tatiana Lazaro, California State University of Channel Islands Student, Southern California NatureBridge Intern.
To see the original article, click here.