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Archive for Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Young students get close-up with nature

Stan Roth, retired biology teacher, right, discusses the characteristics of a bullfrog for a group of Hillcrest School students including Armando Martinez, left, and Alex Mwithiga, second from right, during a field trip Monday to the Baker Wetlands.

Stan Roth, retired biology teacher, right, discusses the characteristics of a bullfrog for a group of Hillcrest School students including Armando Martinez, left, and Alex Mwithiga, second from right, during a field trip Monday to the Baker Wetlands.

May 19, 2009

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Local students experience wetlands

Local elementary students headed into the wild blue yonder to learn about a nearby natural landmark. Enlarge video

Hillcrest School went into the wild Monday morning to get a lesson straight from Mother Nature.

The students ventured to the Baker Wetlands to learn about wildlife, elevation, movement and the history of the area.

“I believe that the next generation has to have a shared sense of place and space,” said Bob Burkhart, the Wakarusa Watershed marshal. “The idea is that if you get out here in the natural surroundings and breathe the fresh air and look at other wildlife, you understand that we’re all basically bio-critters.”

The students got a hands-on reptile and amphibian lesson from retired high school biology teacher Stan Roth.

“Snapping turtles have a bad reputation,” he told the sixth-graders. “They’re really pussycats, but they don’t want you to know that.”

Some of the students had never set foot in the wetlands.

“(It’s my) first time,” Jake Delatorie said. “Pretty cool.”

Classmate Tiffany McIntosh enjoyed the wild marshland. “It’s really cool,” she said. “It’s so peaceful and it calms me down.”

The wetlands field trip was designed to get children involved in the outdoors.

“What we’re doing is our piece to help the last child in the woods or no child left inside, to make sure that our kids don’t grow up with nature deficit disorder,” Burkhart said.

Sandy Sanders, the Wakarusa Wetland Learners Project coordinator for the Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance, said that after the field trips this week, the group will have reached 20 Lawrence schools.

And the kids are getting the message to get outside.

“If you just want to get out of the house and don’t have anything else to do, you could just go for a walk with your dog ... and just look at the waving grass and the animals,” Jake said.

Comments

Bob-RJ Burkhart 5 years, 2 months ago

An outstanding example of how hands-on "blended visual learning" cultivates a shared sense of place & wonder ...

Both video features help collaborators from Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance (KVHA), Jayhawk Audubon Society (JAS) and Grasslands Heritage Foundation (GHF) empower our community's future thought leaders to become social responsibility pathfinders ...

Use Keyword KVHA to learn more at LJWorld's Marketplace: http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/lawrence/search/?q=KVHA

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Bob-RJ Burkhart 5 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence Breakfast Optimists Club (LBOC) co-sponsored this event as part of an innovative "bioneering outreach pilot programs" to promote adaptive outdoor recreation venues that celebrate our biodiversity: http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/businesses/lawrence-breakfast-optimist-club/products/adaptive-outdoor-recreation/

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Jersey_Girl 5 years, 2 months ago

Stan Roth is working harder now than he did when he was teaching at LHS!

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Bob-RJ Burkhart 5 years, 2 months ago

As a prelude to exhibiting at Wichita's Podstock Genfest, KVHA's Digital Jaywalker captured these Imagination and Place video clips of 2009 EarthCare Kaw Valley Voices: http://gallery.me.com/burkhartmnus#100076

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Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 2 months ago

Kudos to Stan Roth for his continued dedication to science education.

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Bob-RJ Burkhart 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree! Stan Roth is an authentic "hometown hero" who's coached, mentored or tutored many local students to excel in bio-science ... Among his inspired "thought leaders" in this Wakarusa Wetland Learners outreach program are Rex Powell, Alison Reber and Jon Standing ...

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grammaddy 5 years, 2 months ago

"..no child left inside"- sounds like a great program.

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Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

Its a shame educators such as Stan Roth age, but its refreshing to know they never retire. A great teacher!.

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