Clear Creek Amana Middle School Wins Iowa Environmental Education Award for Outdoor Classroom

0

Outdoor classroom teaches students to be ‘good stewards of the earth’

Clear Creek Amana Middle School seventh grader Emma Staebler prepares the flower bed for planting Tuesday during an outdoor classroom session at Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)

A student plants an annual flower Tuesday during an outdoor classroom session at Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)

Clear Creek Amana agriculture teacher Alyssa Amelon shows students Tuesday how to safely remove plants from their containers during an outdoor classroom session at Clear Creek Amana Middle School. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)

Clear Creek Amana Middle School seventh graders Bailey Simpson (left) and Bernice Bila plant flowers together Tuesday during their outdoor classroom session at Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)

Clear Creek Amana Middle School seventh-grade student Bernice Bila removes plants from their containers Tuesday during an outdoor classroom session at Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)

Students prepare to plant an annual flower without damaging the root structure Tuesday during an outdoor classroom session at Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)

TIFFIN — Emma Staebler, a seventh-grader at Clear Creek Amana, said she’s never eaten an orange pepper, but planted one this week in the school’s new outdoor classroom.

Clear Creek Amana Middle School won an environmental education award this year for its outdoor classroom in recognition of its contributions to advancing environmental literacy in Iowa. The award was presented by the Iowa Association of Naturalists and the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition.

The outdoor classroom provides students with the opportunity to be outdoors and engage physically, cognitively, psychologically, and socially.

The award – named the Sylvan Runkel Environmental Education Award – was named in honor of an educator who believed strongly in the value of direct experience with the environment and who co-authored four books on plants and natural history of Iowa.

This week, seventh-grade students in a Clear Creek Amana Middle agriculture class weeded, plowed and planted flowers, peppers, carrots and other vegetables in the outdoor classroom.

Emma, ​​13, signed up for the agriculture course because she thought it would be fun to study food science and learn by doing outdoors.

Bailey Simpson, 13, signed up to find out where her food comes from.

“It’s fun to be alive,” Bailey said. “Some schools don’t even offer agriculture classes.”

Alyssa Amelon, a Clear Creek Amana agriculture teacher and FFA counselor, began incorporating more environmentally-focused classes a few years ago to teach students how to be “good stewards of the earth,” she said. she declared.

Approximately 75 students are part of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District’s agricultural program and FFA.

The outdoor classroom is a “hands-on lab” for students to try their hand at gardening. They will learn about cover crops, compostable soils and different ways to grow produce, Amelon said.

Additional products will be donated to local pantries.

“Some of our students have never picked up a shovel before or spent time learning where their food comes from,” Amelon said.

The outdoor classroom is a work in progress and “constantly evolving,” Amelon said. During the summer of 2021, raised beds were placed in the area outside the college and landscaping was done.

The idea of ​​the outdoor classroom started in 2019 as a way to get students learning outdoors.

“We hope it’s an inviting place for people to stop, sit, take a break, enjoy the flowers and harvest produce,” Amelon said.

Comments: (319) 398-8411; [email protected]


Source link

Share.

Comments are closed.