Stories from Science After School

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By Lindsay VanMieghem 

Last week marked the end of our fall Science After School (SAS) sessions. For the past six weeks, 25 students from Hemingway STEAM School and Bellevue Elementary School met on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively, to learn more about environmental science. It was through research, exploration, games, journaling and more that they were able to better understand topics such as animal and plant adaptations.

At Hemingway, we spent one of the days by the river where the students participated in a nature scavenger hunt. This hunt included items and activities that the students learned about during their time in SAS. They became foresters when they had to identify a cottonwood leaf and a fir tree. They also had to use their knowledge about macroinvertebrates to find and identify one from the river. Not only were the students able to use all of the scientific knowledge that they had gained over their time in SAS, they were able to get out and explore nature in a fun way. One student wrote “[My favorite part about SAS was] going out and exploring nature and playing with friends.”

In Bellevue, a favorite session among the students was when the Wood River Land Trust taught us about noxious weeds. During this lesson, the students learned what noxious weeds are and how they impact our environment. They also learned how to identify the most common species found in the Wood River Valley, including spotted knapweed and dalmatian toadflax. Then they walked around the Howard Preserve and mapped where they found different types of noxious weeds. These maps will be a useful tool for the Wood River Land Trust when the time comes for them to remove those noxious weeds. When asked about the most interesting information they learned during SAS, one student wrote “noxious weeds because it was a lot of fun.” Another wrote “Noxious weeds because now I know what they look like when I see them.”

We are looking forward to our winter and spring sessions at Alturas and Hailey Elementary Schools!

Science After School is a FREE program, open to 4th and 5th grade students. This program is possible through the generosity of individual donors, grants and foundations. For more information about Science After School click here.

Lindsay VanMieghemStories from Science After School