Pick Preserve walks resume with STEM middle-schoolers
Once again, teachers at The Sanibel School are able to take their students on walking field trips and take advantage of Sanibel’s environment as an outdoor classroom, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported. Located directly across the street from the school, SCCF’s Pick Preserve is an ideal setting for incorporating environmental education into curriculum, which has been a 20-year collaboration with the SCCF.
SCCF Environmental Educator Richard Finkel recently met Kelly Johnson’s middle school STEM class to explore the ecology of Sanibel’s freshwater wetlands. Students observed and recorded the aquatic habitat’s small life forms. They were excited to get out of the classroom and discover small fish, tadpoles, damselfly and dragonfly nymphs, fishing spiders, water beetles, water striders, and freshwater snails within their water samples.
The aquatic fish and macroinvertebrates were released back into the Pick Preserve wetland after students’ observations. The field trip initiated classroom research into wetland ecology and water quality, so a pondwater sample was taken back to the school for further analysis.
The school has special permission to utilize the 26-acre preserve parcel to integrate environmental education into its curriculum. In a cooperative effort, the SCCF provides professional support for the implementation of integrating the preserve into the school’s curriculum. Kindergarteners on up to eighth-graders take part in experiential learning through the use of the outdoor classroom.