When the weather turns cold, some Maine critters hibernate, others take shelter and never leave home, and still others leave outright during an annual migration. In icy, snowy, rainy, and windy conditions of the winter of 2018-19, the intrepid Milbridge elementary school 3rd and 5th grade students spent time outside each week figuring out how other species adapt to winter.
On five wintry afternoons from mid-December until early February, a group of Jonesport Elementary School 6th-8th graders tested their leadership skills while learning about the components of the local landscape in a Forest Friday program series designed by Maine Outdoor School in collaboration with Cobscook Community Learning Center’s Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program.
While koozies are just a simple and fun project one can do with wool to keep hands comfortable and beverages insulated, the basic techniques and stitches used are the basis of all knitting, from scarves to shawls, mittens to hats, socks to sweaters. And being able to use local, natural resources to make clothes and accessories helps build personal and community resilience.
Starting in early September 2018, all 3rd and 5th-graders at Milbridge Elementary have been enjoying weekly Thursday Forays with Maine Outdoor School in collaboration with the Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program. Students in each grade spend one hour per week outside exploring and learning from nature and each other around their school. Every fourth week, the 3rd and 5th-graders combine for a two-hour experience, usually a field trip, to share their experiences with each other and learn from a different ecosystem.
When I arrived 15 minutes before the start of a fly-tying workshop we were leading in collaboration with Downeast Salmon Federation at Fogtown Brewing Company in Ellsworth to begin setting up vises and prepping tying materials, I was surprised by a jovial patron who exclaimed “you better get set up quickly because people are ready to get started!”
During late fall 2018, the Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Jonesport Elementary School spent an hour a week outside exploring and learning about nature during a collaborative program between Maine Outdoor School and Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE). Guided by the core question, “are humans part of nature?” students spent each week observing seasonal changes, exploring nature around their school, and making discoveries about how humans interact with the environment.
During early fall 2018, the 4th and 5th-graders at Jonesport Elementary School spent an hour per week each week figuring out “who lives here?” Maine Outdoor School, in collaboration with Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE), provided this five-week Forest Friday program series to meet both teacher and student goals. For inspiration, students referenced Island Readers and Writers book Look Up! by Annette LeBlanc Cate, a fun book about observing birds and keeping a sketchbook.
In collaboration with Downeast Salmon Federation, we are offering free fly-tying workshops across Hancock and Washington Counties over the next year. Visit our Events page to learn about the next workshop near you and read this article to learn about one of these recent workshops.
3rd and 5th-graders at Milbridge Elementary School know all about “phenology” and the living things they can find in their local ecosystem--do you? Due to a lovely partnership with Cobscook Community Learning Center’s Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program, Maine Outdoor School has been able to provide weekly one-hour outdoor programs to the 3rd and 5th-graders at Milbridge Elementary School.
Fur, feathers, thread, and steel. These are the basic components that make up an artificial fishing fly, but it is the art and handcraft of tying these flies that that can take a lifetime to master. The 9 students and 2 leaders at Cobscook Community Learning Center’s (CCLC) River Camp got to try their hands at fly-tying with MOS's resident fly-fishing fanatic, Joe Horn.
If a child came to you with a dream about “someday,” wouldn’t you want to help make that dream come true? Cobscook Community Learning Center’s Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program is working on accomplishing just that by listening to local students and helping weave their voices into the academic goals of their classrooms through their “Somedays” project. TREE realized when a Milbridge Elementary School 3rd-grader announced her wish for an outdoor shelter at school that Maine Outdoor School could help make that dream come true, so TREE provided the funding for Maine Outdoor School to lead a two-part program for her whole class of Milbridge 3rd-graders.
When two committed College of the Atlantic students get together to work towards a common effort, the results are typically outstanding. This project was no exception.
You can listen to and download the 9/8/17 show in WERU's archives here or by clicking play below!
With the start of the third week of Blueberry Harvest School, the students and the weather gave hints of a reflective conclusion to summer. While the youngest students took a deep dive into three of the common forest lives they had been seeing, the older students considered the needs of plants and decomposition, and the oldest students explored the mutually reliant world of blueberries and humans.
While August days are hot, nights become notably crisp and cool, red maple trees begin to blush with the telling color of a closing season, gardens become full of their bounty, and many animals begin their annual migration to follow the sun. This migration is a reality for many of our feathered friends, such as geese, loons, and warblers, but is also a reality for individuals of our own species.
We are very excited to announce the release of our official new Maine Outdoor School logo! We had the great fortune to work with several artists and wordsmiths to help us develop our logo, its layout, and our tagline. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank them and let you know more about the meaning behind our logo.
We at Maine Outdoor School had the great privilege of working with Rich Preyer from September 2015-May 2016. Through his Master's coursework at Antioch University New England, Rich developed a pre-program evaluation plan and then helped us implement the plan--complete with a thorough report of future considerations for MOS and a concise update for us to send to all evaluation participants.