“Forest Detectives” at Mountain View School Discover Bugs, Fungi, Mammals, and Birds

“Forest Detectives” at Mountain View School Discover Bugs, Fungi, Mammals, and Birds

Starting in early November 2017, a hardy group of Mountain View Elementary School students became “Forest Detectives” during an 8-part Maine Outdoor School after school series. For an hour each week, students have been exploring, learning, playing, and nature journaling about the forest lives around their school as afternoon daylight diminished.

Reflections from a MOS Outdoor Educator

Reflections from a MOS Outdoor Educator

This summer, I was hired by Maine Outdoor School to design and lead outdoor classes at the 2017 Blueberry Harvest School. Here are my reflections on the experience.

Beals Elementary Students Hike and Learn on Great Wass Island

Beals Elementary Students Hike and Learn on Great Wass Island

Beals Elementary students did not stay inside to read about science in September 2017; Maine Outdoor School took Beals students in grades K-8 to the Great Wass Island Nature Preserve to learn geology and natural history through games, acting, exploration, art, and observation.

Eclipsed: Week 4 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

Eclipsed: Week 4 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

This week began with the “Great American Eclipse” of August 21st, which offered an ideal outdoor learning opportunity. From eclipse observation to mosquito science to nature art, students experienced a fitting conclusion to Blueberry Harvest School 2017.

A Sense of Wonder for the Commonplace: Week 3 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

A Sense of Wonder for the Commonplace: Week 3 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

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.

Poetry, Music, Math, and More: Week 2 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

Poetry, Music, Math, and More: Week 2 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

The bold yellow flowers of our native goldenrods brightened up fields and roadsides as Blueberry Harvest School  students learned about life cycles, seasons and weather, and relationships between living things during the second week of August 2017.

Learning from Each Other: Week 1 of Blueberry Harvest School 2017

Learning from Each Other: Week 1 of  Blueberry Harvest School 2017

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.

Milbridge Elementary 5th-Graders Apply Photosynthesis to the Future of Milbridge

Milbridge Elementary 5th-Graders Apply Photosynthesis to the Future of Milbridge

While it had been just three months since these students at Milbridge Elementary experienced a Maine Outdoor School program (to learn about that day, check out the article about it here), their schoolyard sure had changed. No longer wearing winter boots, hats, and mittens, these 5th-graders were prepared with shorts and t-shirts during this early June 2017 program.

Harrington Elementary 5th and 6th-graders Search for Signs of Decomposition

Harrington Elementary 5th and 6th-graders Search for Signs of Decomposition

The 5th and 6th-graders probably did not expect to learn about the FBI when they heard that Maine Outdoor School was coming to lead to programs in May 2017, but that’s exactly what they did--they learned all about Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates!

Harrington Elementary 3rd and 4th-graders Explore the Water Cycle

Harrington Elementary 3rd and 4th-graders Explore the Water Cycle

What is the coolest cloud you’ve ever seen? “I saw one that looked like a bird! I saw a huge one! I saw one that was pink!” The 3rd and 4th-graders at Harrington Elementary were getting ready to dive into the world of the Water Cycle in two recent programs with Maine Outdoor School in May 2017.

Harrington Elementary 1st and 2nd-Graders Learn about Habitats

Harrington Elementary 1st and 2nd-Graders Learn about Habitats

After sharing their existing knowledge about habitats and singing along to the Habitat song (you can listen to a version of it with lyrics here), the 1st and 2nd-graders at Harrington Elementary were ready to explore real habitats around their school in two Maine Outdoor School programs in May 2017.

Harrington Elementary School’s Pre-K and Kindergarten Students Learn about the Sun’s Influence

  Harrington Elementary School’s Pre-K and Kindergarten Students Learn about the Sun’s Influence

As the sun’s warmth finally started to make itself known after a cold and wet spring, the Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Harrington Elementary School had a chance to learn outside with Maine Outdoor School during two consecutive Friday programs in May 2017.

Organizational Visioning at Washington County Community College

Organizational Visioning at Washington County Community College

Rain came down in sheets across the lonesome gray ribbon of the Airline Road that abruptly interrupts the rich forests, vast blueberry barrens, and winding rivers of Washington County, Maine. Despite the inclement weather and remote location, a group of fifteen dedicated individuals, led by MOS Co-Founders/Co-CEOs Hazel Stark and Joe Horn, convened to create an appreciative vision of their community and to understand and articulate the role of Washington County Community College’s Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) within that vision.

D.W. Merritt 5th and 6th-graders Learn that “Biomes Rock”

D.W. Merritt 5th and 6th-graders Learn that “Biomes Rock”

Rocks are often cognitively separated from the world of the living, but understanding the give and take between these seemingly separate aspects of the natural world was just what the 5th and 6th-graders at D.W. Merritt School explored during a Maine Outdoor School program in early May 2017.

D.W. Merritt 3rd and 4th-Graders Explore Water’s Influence

D.W. Merritt 3rd and 4th-Graders Explore Water’s Influence

What state of matter does ice belong in? This question was the first challenge these 3rd and 4th-grade students had during their Maine Outdoor School program at D.W. Merritt School in early May 2017. “Liquid!” was the quickest guess, but then they got thinking and exchanged some skeptical looks.

D.W. Merritt Pre-K through 2nd-Graders Learn about Life Cycles

D.W. Merritt Pre-K through 2nd-Graders Learn about Life Cycles

As red maple tree flowers began to fall from their leafless branches on a cloudy day in early May 2017, all students at D.W. Merritt School in Addison, ME got to learn outside during a series of Maine Outdoor School programs. This article is the first of a three-part series on our programs at D.W. Merritt--check out our article on the 3rd and 4th-graders' water explorations here and the 5th and 6th-graders' rock explorations here!

MOS Presents at Unity College and Antioch University New England

MOS Presents at Unity College and Antioch University New England

While the weather this winter fluctuated erratically from torrential downpours and warm weather to record-breaking blizzards and hard freezes, the message in MOS’s presentations remained rock solid: precisely articulate your reason for being, align your mission to every aspect of your organization, and plan meticulously

Milbridge 5th and 6th-Graders Learn about Birds and Resource Availability

Milbridge 5th and 6th-Graders Learn about Birds and Resource Availability

In the overcast calm before a short snowstorm in early March, Milbridge Elementary 5th and 6th-graders joined Maine Outdoor School to consider: how can we all, nonhuman life included, meet our similar needs? To answer this question, they focused on the world of birds.