Students will arrive at BCNS and be greeted with a building and property tour, and an introduction to the daily flow and pacing of their educational experience while on site. Students will be offered opportunities to compare the BCNS campus and ecosystems to natural areas of their sending school and community, and engage in an interpretive forest hike and DNS Fishing activities.
5th Grade Nature Academy – Curriculum Overview and Standards Connection
Students will explore one of the ecosystems on BCNS property, including foodweb analysis and citizen science field work. Students will research the life cycle of monarch butterflies (a thematic element in BCNS curriculum), and identify evidence of monarch butterflies on site. With an emphasis on stewardship, students will work with their classes to initiate a sustainability project which they will complete over the course of the school year. Students will finish the day at the BCNS ponds engaging in fishing activities.
Overview: Students will visit Boone County History and Culture Center to explore the museum and associated native dwellings. Students will make additional historical connections at the Charles Green Conservation Area and Forest Hill Plantation Site. They will finish their Session 1 experience with a hike out of BCNS to Turkey Creek for educational stations about karst formations, creek history, and other natural phenomena of the area.
Overview: Students will return to BCNS for a late fall/winter look at the property. Their citizen science field work will continue in the BCNS ecosystems, followed by an in-depth look at Missouri’s phenological happenings. With a collected subject of study, students will develop a decomposition timeline of the specimen, and explore the benefits of controlled decomposition in the garden through composting.
Overview: Students will analyze data and graphs illustrating human-caused changes to earth’s climate on both local and global scales, and answer a call to action about these changes. Students will conduct a historical photograph analysis of BCNS and identify changes over the last 100 years, and enjoy a read-aloud picture book that illustrates the dangers of human impacts on the ecosystem. Students will also have the opportunity to check in with BCNS staff about their sustainability project, who will offer encouragement and suggestions for a plan to move forward.
Overview: Students will return to BCNS for the third session, and experience a final opportunity for citizen science field work. Having seen the Nature School during three different seasons of the year, students will make observations and inferences about annual changes to Missouri’s ecosystems. Time will be offered for classes to make final preparations for tomorrow’s presentations. Students will also take a geology hike to learn about, identify, and appreciate the area’s karst topography, and be introduced to orienteering with a map and compass.
Overview: Students will present the results of their sustainability projects to stakeholders and peers, and reflect on their time at BCNS. Students will celebrate their work with field day activities and an orienteering treasure hunt on the BCNS campus.
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