Yough students learn lessons in the great outdoors
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
For 35 weeks out of each school year, students in the third and eighth grades of the Yough School District spend time in a traditional classroom setting, but for one week, they get to venture outdoors to experience nature and learn from the great outdoors.
Environmental Education Week is held every year at Cedar Creek Park, welcoming the students to enjoy different areas of the park while applying classroom lessons to actual live settings.
“This is a great way for these students to be able to see what they have been learning about in their classes,” Yough Intermediate Middle School teacher and event coordinator Brian Grindle said of the week of outdoor classes. “This gives them the opportunity to do hands-on activities, applying what they have learned in the traditional classroom setting to actual environmental setting, and it's fun.”
The students are placed in groups then assigned different areas or stations to visit throughout the park that are specifically set up for the program.
Students learn about the environment, water and pollution, local and state wildlife, trees, plants and macro-vertebrate identification.
“I think that this is cool, and I like being outside,” student Angela Ambrosia, 13 said. “I just really like coming to Cedar Creek. It's so nice here.”
The students split the week, with the third-grade students coming for part of the week and the eighth-grade students coming for the latter part of the week.
The lessons offered in the park setting are geared toward which age group will be attending, but all focus on the benefits of the outdoor hands-on learning experience.
“These students get to experience things not seen in a classroom,” sixth-grade math and science teacher Lou Korpar said.
Korpar was assisting with the station that was based on Pennsylvania wildlife, focusing on the otter and beaver, which are both experiencing a rebirth in the state.
“The otter and the beaver were both extirpated and pretty much nonexistent in our area,” Pennsylvania Game Commission intern Ray McGrew said. “They have now been reintroduced, and they are doing good. It's good to teach these kids while they are young the importance of taking care of the environment and the wildlife.”
Students spent time identifying wildlife and trees, taking part in a scavenger hunt that challenged their skills, took nature walks, learned about state game, floral and fauna, and spent time in the stream looking for water life to be identified.
“This is fun,” student Sam Lindner said. “We get to apply what we have learned, and it's fun.”
The Environmental Education Week has now been taking place for many years, and Grindle said that he is thrilled that the district supports the outdoor classes.
“While many districts contract outside agencies to provide this educational experience we continue to strive to utilize the resources in our own back yard, Grindle said. “It's great that the district is so enthusiastic about these outdoor classes and it gives these kids an exciting and educational experience.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pit bull runs wild in Monessen
- Traffic stop leads to crash, jail
- Donora’s Priscilla Wilson was ‘born to help others’
- Monessen will analyze downtown parking
- Health secretary sees benefits of SPHS Primary Care
- Photo gallery: Ringgold High School students stage ‘Tarzan: The Stage Musical’
- Rostraver landfill fined $160,000 for bad odors
- Belle Vernon students show grasp of history
- New Eagle dance on as scheduled; ‘Porky’ Chedwick tribute in works
- Yough Middle School Science Fair continues to grow after 9 years
- Monessen teen in court for drug charges