by Susan Wall, Youth Education Coordinator, City of Austin Watershed Protection
Hands-on, experiential learning gives kids the boost they need to succeed at understanding the earth sciences at Earth Camp. It is so valuable for ten-year-old children to take their understanding of a classroom watershed or aquifer model and apply it to the land they are standing on at Earth Camp. The connection is “the real thing!” Students use laboratory equipment like a magnifier to identify bugs living in the creek and a thermometer to measure water temperature, and ultimately learn that scientific inquiry is a valuable way of examining the world. Best of all, students spend healthy time being active outdoors while learning!
All Earth Camp content is connected to the required science curriculum. Students explore local watersheds at McKinney Falls State Park, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, City Parks, and Barton Springs. When the students collect organisms from Onion Creek or a cave in an aquifer recharge feature they feel like real scientists. These kids are our future, one that includes an understanding of Austin’s water resources and how to protect them!
For more information visit http://www.austintexas.gov/EarthCamp