Mason, 8 years old, and Zach, 11 years old, sons of Colleen and Will Etzbach are the Dec 13th winners of the Outdoors Trivia - Just in time for Christmas - Contest
Tanya Gehring was awarded a What’s in Outdoors, Outdoor Trivia Contest prize package-Just in time for Christmas for her story concerning her first turkey hunt and all the excitement that went with it.
Tanya pictured with her father Matt, proudly displays her first bird. Gib Rhodes, her guide for the hunt sponsored by the Flint Hills Gobblers of the National Wildlife Federation describes the bird as a super Jake—it was a very large bird for its age, but definitely had a Jake’s fan, short spurs and two short beards!
Lilly H. 2nd grade, Kindergartner Wyatt G., and Tanner K. 6th grade--- students, outdoor learning activity guides and ambassadors for the Chase County Outdoor Learning Center, Strong City gave Phil and Steven Bender regional director of the National Wildlife Federation a tour of their school’s educational outdoor learning projects and programs.
Rain Barrel pic…Wyatt explains how the use of rain barrels are used at the school to collect and conserve water. Water is taken from the barrel and used to water the plants in their green house.
Chase County kids with sheep, bucket calves, feeding chickens, and raising earthworms.
Chase County Elementary School’s Outdoor Learning Center Kicks Off With a Great Start
The Council Grove USDA Service Center including the Conservation District, NRCS and WRAPS; plus Morris County Extension visited the new exciting Chase County Elementary School’s Outdoor Learning Center in Strong City on October 29th. This Project Based Learning has been linked to Common Core Standards that Chase County implemented this school year. The small classrooms of multi-generational students link siblings together in grades K-6. Students are learning to make real-life connections to their learning where they are able to problem-solve, make public presentations and become 21st Century Learners. Chase County is the first “public” school to implement this type of education in Kansas with two other ongoing “charter” schools, Walton and Service Valley.
We were greeted by Jeff Kohlman, USD #284 Superintendent, who escorted us to the gymnasium where announcements and duties were assigned by David Warner, K-6 Principal and the student of the day to make the announcements and led everyone in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” We were the first group to be headed by student tour guides of Mrs. Matile’s class. Three of her students ranging is grades K-6 took us to see Rainwater Collection Barrels, the Aluminum Can Recycling Collection site, and the Compost Bins. From there we toured the outdoor learning center building where we were shown the baby chicks, chicken coop and chicken yard. We then toured the greenhouse where peppers and tomatoes were being grown. Finally, we were able to see the two bucket calves; two lambs and an ewe/lamb pair. Students take turns feeding and watering livestock as well as maintain healthy living areas for the animals. Eggs and plants will be sold where all community members are welcome and encouraged to participate in learning.
David Warner has written numerous grants to start this exciting facility to help the declining enrollment that most small school districts are now facing. David said, “In Project Based Learning, students are pulled through the curriculum by a meaningful question to explore, an engaging real-world problem to solve, or a challenge to design or create something. Before they can accomplish this, students need to investigate the topic by asking questions and developing their own answers. To demonstrate what they learn, students create high-quality products and present their work to other people. Students often complete project work collaboratively in small teams, guided by the teacher. Students use project based learning tied to an agriculture and ranching theme to help students become better, more active learners.”
Chase County Outdoor Learning Center. Story courtesy of Jo Bea Titus