The goal of this half-day program is to encourage second graders to interact with and ask questions about the natural world. Overarching questions for the field trip are, “Why is this area protected on St. Croix?” and “How is this area similar and different to other familiar places, such as students’ homes and school grounds?” Students visit one of three coastal protected areas: Southgate Coastal Reserve, Salt River (Columbus Landing), or Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. SEA and our partners from the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators (VINE) http://usvine.wordpress.com/ aim to reach more than 500 students each year. The program is available to all public and private schools on St. Croix. Students work in learning communities of 10-15 students and participate in three inquirybased activities such as:
- Sea Turtle Researcher Simulation – measure a sea turtle replica, fill out a field data sheet, locate the ‘nest’ and excavate the ‘nest’ to determine hatching success
- Sand Sieves – sort and compare sand particles using sieves, learn the origin of the particles and how they are made
- Mangroves – explore and compare mangrove species
- Weather Station – use an anemometer, wind vane, cloud chart and thermometer to determine the weather
- Plants – use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast plant species. Upon returning to school students have the opportunity to share their experience with classmates so that they can learn about the activities they didn’t do.
Field Days for 2nd Graders is supported by The Buccaneer, GPK Foundation, Professional Holding Company and the V.I. Children’s Seal Fund.