Learning Valuable Lessons from Our Own Community
A wonderful collaboration began a year ago. In an effort to inform students of their water sources, value and vulnerability, the OBEN Schools partnered with the North Shore Land Alliance, who provided a series of two workshops to the fifth graders. In the first session, students created a model aquifer and experimented with how water enters and leaves. In the second, students learned how to differentiate between groundwater and surface water as well as investigate human impact on Long Island.
The fourth graders at the Vernon School also learned about their environment. As part of a federal pilot grant acquired by The Audubon Society and the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary, the 4th graders participated in classroom workshops and open research projects.
An educator from the Audubon provided four hands-on biological experiments to each fourth grade class at the Vernon School. In preparation for their fieldwork at the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary, students learned about adaptations, migration, bird songs and bird identification. Students' work culminated in a visit to the Sanctuary where students participated in a large-scale open study of bird populations and are asked to recognize long-term trends and potential environmental factors leading to those trends.
Data collected will be vetted by the Audubon Center and shared with the scientific community. In addition to their research at the bird-spotting station, students used skim nets to isolate and identify beach organisms. They also will take a museum tour. Students will participate in activities ending with each student earning a Junior Ranger Badge.
The naturalists came to the 5 classes at Vernon this January. The visit to the Sanctuary will be in May. This will be a full day trip which will include touring the mansion.