Outdoor learning space at Wattsburg Area Elementary Center gives kids a chance to learn in nature

Local News

Some Wattsburg area students are finding out that the best way to learn about nature is to be out in it.

Yoselin Person was live in the studio to tell us more.

There is an outdoor learning space for students at the Wattsburg Area Elementary Center in order to be in touch with what they’re learning.

“Anytime we can provide an outdoor learning experience where students can interact with nature that is right in their backyard, they’re able to make more connections,” said Becca Kelly, assistant superintendent, Wattsburg Area Elementary Center.

The center received a $50,000 grant from Senator Michelle Brooks to create an outdoor learning space for students.

Teachers say the focus is on STEAM, which stands for;

“Science, technology, engineering, agriculture, arts and mathematics,” said Bethany Pinzok, health & physical educator, Wattsburg Area Elementary Center.

A student says outdoor learning can be fun while staying socially distanced from others.

“It is really fun. Even though we’re social distancing and have to wear a mask they still make it super fun for us to learn out here,” said Adalyn Barber, 4th grader, Wattsburg Area Elementary Center.

The launch of the learning space began in September of 2019, but when things were coming together, COVID-19 had other plans. However, the teachers and students are utilizing it during these unprecedented times. 

“Then we came out collaboratively together to increase the idea of mindfulness and we created the school labyrinth,” said Heather Hedderman, STEM & librarian, Wattsburg Area Elementary Center.

“It’s a wonderful thing when you’re a principal you want the type of school where kids are really learning hands on and being able to enjoy the beauty that the campus has to offer,” said Hillary Barboni, principal, Wattsburg Area Elementary Center.

The grant has also helped the school team up with different local nonprofits to teach the students.

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