Place Based Education

Nutrient Cycling during Teen Ag Camp

Nutrient Cycling during Teen Ag Camp

Harrington-area teens are enjoying a week of “Teen Ag Camp,” run by Healthy Acadia at Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School this week. While students were building school garden beds and learning about agriculture and nutrition, they squeezed in some time for a Maine Outdoor School program focused on nutrient cycling!

Microadventures with Jonesport Teachers

Microadventures with Jonesport Teachers

On the teacher workshop day that fell the day before April vacation, all Jonesport teachers experienced a professional development workshop with MOS aimed at giving teachers a tangible activity they could use with students in any grade or subject to encourage outdoor learning and self-reflection with a flavor of adventure.

Adapting to Winter during Thursday Forays in Milbridge

Adapting to Winter during Thursday Forays in Milbridge

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.

A Landscape of Leadership with Jonesport Grades 6-8

A Landscape of Leadership with Jonesport Grades 6-8

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.

Fall 2018 Thursday Forays at Milbridge Elementary School

Fall 2018 Thursday Forays at Milbridge Elementary School

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.

Jonesport Pre-K and Kindergarteners Discover Nature

Jonesport Pre-K and Kindergarteners Discover Nature

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.

Beals Pre-K and Kindergarten Students Explore their Local Ecosystem

Beals Pre-K and Kindergarten Students Explore their Local Ecosystem

On an idyllic, misty, and warm early October morning along the shore of Beals Island, Beals Elementary School’s Pre-K and Kindergarten students went outside to learn about who lives in their local ecosystem.

Beals Students in Grades 1-8 Visit Ingersoll Point Preserve

Beals Students in Grades 1-8 Visit Ingersoll Point Preserve

In an effort to both help students learn about the flora and fauna in their home ecosystem as well as a local preserve they can explore and hike with their families, Beals Elementary School students visited the Ingersoll Point Preserve, owned by the Downeast Coastal Conservancy, in early October 2018.

Jonesport Students Get Outside Weekly During “Forest Fridays”

Jonesport Students Get Outside Weekly During “Forest Fridays”

For five weeks, Jonesport Elementary School students in grades 4 and 5 have been getting outside this fall for at least one hour per week during our “Forest Friday” program series. Due in large part to our partnership with Cobscook Community Learning Center’s Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program, which helps weave student voice into the academic goals of the classroom, even more Jonesport students will have a chance to get outside during Forest Fridays as the academic year goes on.

Thursday Forays Begin at Milbridge Elementary School

Thursday Forays Begin at Milbridge Elementary School

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.

Making a Student’s Dream Come True with TREE in Milbridge

Making a Student’s Dream Come True with TREE in Milbridge

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.

El Bosque de Nosotros/ The Forest of Us

El Bosque de Nosotros/ The Forest of Us

Maine Outdoor School and Mano en Mano led a free, bilingual 4-day program series on weekends in May and June 2018 focused on learning about the importance of diversity in nature and in human communities with funding from the Maine Community Foundation. Through this program series, students not only learned about how diversity yields natural and human resilience while valuing their own differences, but also were exposed to a variety of local hiking trails and preserves that they can visit with their families and friends.

Pembroke Students Learn about Birds in Cobscook Bay

Pembroke Students Learn about Birds in Cobscook Bay

In collaboration with Cobscook Community Learning Center and the Downeast Spring Birding Festival, Maine Outdoor School was able to provide two free programs for the 5th and 6th-graders from Pembroke Elementary School in May 2018. In an effort to get Cobscook Bay area students engaged in the diversity of birds that migrate through the area this time of year, the programs were designed to complement the Birding Festival, which people attend from around the country.

Forest Detectives in the Cold at Cave Hill School

Forest Detectives in the Cold at Cave Hill School

As the days grew longer, albeit colder and snowier, a group of “Forest Detectives” at Cave Hill School sought to learn how our outdoor neighbors survive the Maine winter during our 8-week after school series there from January through March.

Ella Lewis School Students Brave Depths of Winter with MOS

Ella Lewis School Students Brave Depths of Winter with MOS

While some mammals of the Maine woods spend their winters hibernating in a warm den, 25 of Ella Lewis School’s intrepid 3rd-6th grade after school students did just the opposite this winter. As long as school wasn’t cancelled due to one of our many Nor’Easters this year, no amount of ice and snow could keep these kids inside as they unceasingly pursued an answer to winter’s persistent question: How do animals survive despite the frigid temperatures and scarce food?

Building Resilience at Peninsula School Part 2

Building Resilience at Peninsula School Part 2

The sun sets rapidly Downeast in the winter—especially after school. In the waning light, snow, and cold, an intrepid group of 4th-6th graders at the Peninsula School explored the forests around the school for ways that they could give back to their community.

Unlocking Nature's Mysteries with Mountain View School

Unlocking Nature's Mysteries with Mountain View School

From November 2017 until early January 2018, 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 explored, learned, played, and journaled about the forest lives around their school.

“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.